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Title: Secret Societies And Subversive Movements

Author: Nesta H. Webster

Release Date: August 23, 2006 [EBook #19104]

Language: English

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_The Chevalier de Boufflers_
_The French Revolution_
_World Revolution_
_The Socialist Network_
_The Surrender of an Empire_
_Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette: Before the Revolution_
_Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette: During the Revolution_
_Spacious Days_

       *       *       *       *       *

"There is in Italy a power which we seldom mention in this House ... I
mean the secret societies.... It is useless to deny, because it is
impossible to conceal, that a great part of Europe--the whole of Italy
and France and a great portion of Germany, to say nothing of other
countries--is covered with a network of these secret societies, just as
the superficies of the earth is now being covered with railroads. And
what are their objects? They do not attempt to conceal them. They do not
want constitutional government; they do not want ameliorated
institutions ... they want to change the tenure of land, to drive out
the present owners of the soil and to put an end to ecclesiastical
establishments. Some of them may go further...." (DISRAELI in the House
of Commons, July 14, 1856.)


It is a matter of some regret to me that I have been so far unable to
continue the series of studies on the French Revolution of which _The
Chevalier de Boufflers_ and _The French Revolution, a Study in
Democracy_ formed the first two volumes. But the state of the world at
the end of the Great War seemed to demand an enquiry into the present
phase of the revolutionary movement, hence my attempt to follow its
course up to modern times in _World Revolution_. And now before
returning to that first cataclysm I have felt impelled to devote one
more book to the Revolution as a whole by going this time further back
into the past and attempting to trace its origins from the first century
of the Christian era. For it is only by taking a general survey of the
movement that it is possible to understand the causes of any particular
phase of its existence. The French Revolution did not arise merely out
of conditions or ideas peculiar to the eighteenth century, nor the
Bolshevist Revolution out of political and social conditions in Russia
or the teaching of Karl Marx. Both these explosions were produced by
forces which, making use of popular suffering and discontent, had long
been gathering strength for an onslaught not only on Christianity, but
on all social and moral order.

It is of immense significance to notice with what resentment this point
of view is met in certain quarters. When I first began to write on
revolution a well-known London publisher said to me, "Remember that if
you take an anti-revolutionary line you will have the whole literary
world against you." This appeared to me extraordinary. Why should the
literary world sympathize with a movement which from the French
Revolution onwards has always been directed against literature, art, and
science, and has openly proclaimed its aim to exalt the manual workers
over the intelligentsia? "Writers must be proscribed as the most
dangerous enemies of the people," said Robespierre; his colleague Dumas
said all clever men should be guillotined. "The system of persecution
against men of talents was organized.... They cried out in the sections
of Paris, 'Beware of that man for he has written a book!'"[1] Precisely
the same policy has been followed in Russia. Under Moderate Socialism in
Germany the professors, not the "people," are starving in garrets. Yet
the whole press of our country is permeated with subversive influences.
Not merely in partisan works, but in manuals of history or literature
for use in Schools, Burke is reproached for warning us against the
French Revolution and Carlyle's panegyric is applauded. And whilst every
slip on the part of an anti-revolutionary writer is seized on by the
critics and held up as an example of the whole, the most glaring errors
not only of conclusions but of facts pass unchallenged if they happen to
be committed by a partisan of the movement. The principle laid down by
Collot d'Herbois still holds good: "Tout est permis pour quiconque agit
dans le sens de la revolution."

All this was unknown to me when I first embarked on my work. I knew that
French writers of the past had distorted facts to suit their own
political views, that a conspiracy of history is still directed by
certain influences in the masonic lodges and the Sorbonne; I did not
know that this conspiracy was being carried on in this country.
Therefore the publisher's warning did not daunt me. If I was wrong
either in my conclusions or facts I was prepared to be challenged.
Should not years of laborious historical research meet either with
recognition or with reasoned and scholarly refutation? But although my
book received a great many generous and appreciative reviews in the
press, criticisms which were hostile took a form which I had never
anticipated. Not a single honest attempt was made to refute either my
_French Revolution_ or _World Revolution_ by the usual methods of
controversy; statements founded on documentary evidence were met with
flat contradiction unsupported by a shred of counter evidence. In
general the plan adopted was not to disprove, but to discredit by means
of flagrant misquotations, by attributing to me views I had never
expressed, or even by means of offensive personalities. It will surely
be admitted that this method of attack is unparalleled in any other
sphere of literary controversy.

It is interesting to notice that precisely the same line was adopted a
hundred years ago with regard to Professor Robison and the Abbe Barruel,
whose works on the secret causes of the French Revolution created an
immense sensation in their day. The legitimate criticisms that might
have been made on their work find no place in the diatribes levelled
against them; their enemies content themselves merely with calumnies and
abuse. A contemporary American writer, Seth Payson, thus describes the
methods employed to discredit them:

     The testimony of Professor Robison and Abbe Barruel would doubtless
     have been considered as ample in any case which did not interest
     the prejudices and passions of men against them. The scurrility and
     odium with which they have been loaded is perfectly natural, and
     what the nature of their testimony would have led one to expect.
     Men will endeavour to invalidate that evidence which tends to
     unveil their dark designs: and it cannot be expected that those who
     believe that "the end sanctifies the means" will be very scrupulous
     as to their measures. Certainly he was not who invented the
     following character and arbitrarily applied it to Dr. Robison,
     which might have been applied with as much propriety to any other
     person in Europe or America. The character here referred to, is
     taken from the American _Mercury_, printed at Hartford, September
     26, 1799, by E. Babcock. In this paper, on the pretended authority
     of Professor Ebeling, we are told "that Robison had lived too fast
     for his income, and to supply deficiencies had undertaken to alter
     a bank bill, that he was detected and fled to France; that having
     been expelled the Lodge in Edinburgh, he applied in France for the
     second grade, but was refused; that he made the same attempt in
     Germany and afterwards in Russia, but never succeeded; and from
     this entertained the bitterest hatred to masonry; and after
     wandering about Europe for two years, by writing to Secretary
     Dundas, and presenting a copy of his book, which, it was judged,
     would answer certain purposes of the ministry, the prosecution
     against him was stopped, the Professor returned in triumph to his
     country, and now lives upon a handsome pension, instead of
     suffering the fate of his predecessor Dodd."[2]

Payson goes on to quote a writer in _The National Intelligencer_ of
January 1801, who styles himself a "friend to truth" and speaks of
Professor Robison as "a man distinguished by abject dependence on a
party, by the base crimes of forgery and adultery, and by frequent
paroxysms of insanity." Mounier goes further still, and in his pamphlet
_De l'influence attribuee aux Philosophes, ... Francs-macons et ...
Illumines_, etc., inspired by the Illuminatus Bode, quotes a story that
Robison suffered from a form of insanity which consisted in his
believing that the posterior portion of his body was made of glass![3]

In support of all this farrago of nonsense there is of course no
foundation of truth; Robison was a well-known savant who lived sane and
respected to the end of his days. On his death Watt wrote of him: "He
was a man of the clearest head and the most science of anybody I have
ever known."[4] John Playfair, in a paper read before the Royal Society
of Edinburgh in 1815, whilst criticizing his _Proofs of a
Conspiracy_--though at the same time admitting he had himself never had
access to the documents Robison had consulted!--paid the following
tribute to his character and erudition:

     His range in science was most extensive; he was familiar with the
     whole circle of the accurate sciences.... Nothing can add to the
     esteem which they [i.e. "those who were personally acquainted with
     him"] felt for his talents and worth or to the respect in which
     they now hold his memory.[5]

Nevertheless, the lies circulated against both Robison and Barruel were
not without effect. Thirteen years later we find another American, this
time a Freemason, confessing "with shame and grief and indignation" that
he had been carried away by "the flood of vituperation poured upon
Barruel and Robison during the past thirty years," that the title pages
of their works "were fearful to him," and that although "wishing calmly
and candidly to investigate the character of Freemasonry he refused for
months to open their books." Yet when in 1827 he read them for the first
time he was astonished to find that they showed "a manifest tendency
towards Freemasonry." Both Barruel and Robison, he now realized, were
"learned men, candid men, lovers of their country, who had a reverence
for truth and religion. They give the reasons for their opinions, they
quote their authorities, naming the author and page, like honest people;
they both had a wish to rescue British Masonry from the condemnation and
fellowship of continental Masonry and appear to be sincerely actuated by
the desire of doing good by giving their labours to the public."[6]

That the author was right here in his description of Barruel's attitude
to Freemasonry is shown by Barruel's own words on the subject:

     England above all is full of those upright men, excellent citizens,
     men of every kind and in every condition of life, who count it an
     honour to be masons, and who are distinguished from other men only
     by ties which seem to strengthen those of benevolence and fraternal
     charity. It is not the fear of offending a nation amongst which I
     have found a refuge which prompts me to make this exception.
     Gratitude would prevail with me over all such terrors and I should
     say in the midst of London: "England is lost, she will not escape
     the French Revolution if the masonic lodges resemble those I have
     to unveil. I would even say more: government and all Christianity
     would long ago have been lost in England if one could suppose its
     Freemasons to be initiated into the last mysteries of the sect."[7]

In another passage Barruel observes that Masonry in England is "a
society composed of good citizens in general whose chief object is to
help each other by principles of equality which for them is nothing else
but universal fraternity."[8] And again: "Let us admire it [the wisdom
of England] for having known how to make a real source of benefit to the
State out of those same mysteries which elsewhere conceal a profound
conspiracy against the State and religion."[9]

The only criticism British Freemasons may make on this verdict is that
Barruel regards Masonry as a system which originally contained an
element of danger that has been eliminated in England whilst they regard
it as a system originally innocuous into which a dangerous element was
inserted on the Continent. Thus according to the former conception
Freemasonry might be compared to one of the brass shell-cases brought
back from the battle-fields of France and converted into a flower-pot
holder, whilst according to the latter it resembles an innocent brass
flower-pot holder which has been used as a receptacle for explosives. The
fact is that, as I shall endeavour to show in the course of this book,
Freemasonry being a composite system there is some justification for
both these theories. In either case it will be seen that Continental
Masonry alone stands condemned.

The plan of representing Robison and Barruel as the enemies of British
Masonry can therefore only be regarded as a method for discrediting them
in the eyes of British Freemasons, and consequently for bringing the
latter over to the side of their antagonists. Exactly the same method of
attack has been directed against those of us who during the last few
years have attempted to warn the world of the secret forces working to
destroy civilization; in my own case even the plan of accusing me of
having attacked British Masonry has been adopted without the shadow of a
foundation. From the beginning I have always differentiated between
British and Grand Orient Masonry, and have numbered high British Masons
amongst my friends.

But what is the main charge brought against us? Like Robison and
Barruel, we are accused of raising a false alarm, of creating a bogey,
or of being the victims of an obsession. Up to a point this is
comprehensible. Whilst on the Continent the importance of secret
societies is taken as a matter of course and the libraries of foreign
capitals teem with books on the question, people in this country really
imagine that secret societies are things of the past--articles to this
effect appeared quite recently in two leading London newspapers--whilst
practically nothing of any value has been written about them in our
language during the last hundred years. Hence ideas that are
commonplaces on the Continent here appear sensational and extravagant.
The mind of the Englishman does not readily accept anything he cannot
see or even sometimes anything he can see which is unprecedented in his
experience, so that like the West American farmer, confronted for the
first time by the sight of a giraffe, his impulse is to cry out angrily:
"I don't believe it!"

But whilst making all allowance for honest ignorance and incredulity, it
is impossible not to recognize a certain method in the manner in which
the cry of "obsession" or "bogey" is raised. For it will be noticed that
people who specialize on other subjects are not described as "obsessed."
We did not hear, for example, that the late Professor Einstein had
Relativity "on the brain" because he wrote and lectured exclusively on
this question, nor do we hear it suggested that Mr. Howard Carter is
obsessed with the idea of Tutankhamen and that it would be well if he
were to set out for the South Pole by way of a change. Again, all those
who warn the world concerning eventualities they conceive to be a danger
are not accused of creating bogeys. Thus although Lord Roberts was
denounced as a scaremonger for urging the country to prepare for
defence against a design openly avowed by Germany both in speech and
print, and in 1921 the Duke of Northumberland was declared the victim of
a delusion for believing in the existence of a plot against the British
Empire which had been proclaimed in a thousand revolutionary harangues
and pamphlets. People who, without bothering to produce a shred of
documentary evidence, had sounded the alarm on the menace of "French
Imperialism" and asserted that our former Allies were engaged in
building a vast fleet of aeroplanes in order to attack our coasts. They
were not held to be either scaremongers or insane. On the contrary,
although some of these same people were proved by events to have been
completely wrong in their prognostications at the beginning of the Great
War, they are still regarded as oracles and sometimes even described as
"thinking for half Europe."

Another instance of this kind may be cited in the case of Mr. John
Spargo, author of a small book entitled _The Jew and American Ideals_.
On page 37 of this work Mr. Spargo in refuting the accusations brought
against the Jews observes:

     Belief in widespread conspiracies directed against individuals or
     the state is probably the commonest form assumed by the human mind
     when it loses its balance and its sense of proportion.

Yet on page 6 Mr. Spargo declares that when visiting this country in
September and October 1920:

     I found in England great nation-wide organizations, obviously well
     financed, devoted to the sinister purpose of creating anti-Jewish
     feeling and sentiment. I found special articles in influential
     newspapers devoted to the same evil purpose. I found at at least
     one journal, obviously well financed again, exclusively devoted to
     the fostering of suspicion, fear, and hatred against the Jew ...
     and in the bookstores I discovered a whole library of books devoted
     to the same end.

It will be seen then that a belief in widespread conspiracies is not
always to be regarded as a sign of loss of mental balance, even when
these conspiracies remain completely invisible to the general public.
For those of us who were in London during the period of Mr. Spargo's
visit saw nothing of the things he here describes. Where, we ask, were
these "great nation-wide organizations" striving to create anti-Jewish
sentiments? What were their names? By whom were they led? It is true,
however, that there were nation-wide organizations in existence here at
this date instituted for the purpose of combating Bolshevism. Is
anti-Bolshevism then synonymous with "anti-Semitism"?[10] This is the
conclusion to which one is inevitably led. For it will be noticed that
anyone who attempts to expose the secret forces behind the revolutionary
movement, whether he mentions Jews in this connexion or even if he goes
out of his way to exonerate them, will incur the hostility of the Jews
and their friends and will still be described as "anti-Semite." The
realization of this fact has led me particularly to include the Jews in
the study of secret societies.

The object of the present book is therefore to carry further the enquiry
I began in _World Revolution_, by tracing the course of revolutionary
ideas through secret societies from the earliest times, indicating the
role of the Jews only where it is to be clearly detected, but not
seeking to implicate them where good evidence is not forthcoming. For
this reason I shall not base assertions on merely "anti-Semite" works,
but principally on the writings of the Jews themselves. In the same way
with regard to secret societies I shall rely as far as possible on the
documents and admissions of their members, on which point I have been
able to collect a great deal of fresh data entirely corroborating my
former thesis. It should be understood that I do not propose to give a
complete history of secret societies, but only of secret societies in
their relation to the revolutionary movement. I shall therefore not
attempt to describe the theories of occultism nor to enquire into the
secrets of Freemasonry, but simply to relate the history of these
systems in order to show the manner in which they have been utilized for
a subversive purpose. If I then fail to convince the incredulous that
secret forces of revolution exist, it will not be for want of evidence.

Nesta H. Webster.














The East is the cradle of secret societies. For whatever end they may
have been employed, the inspiration and methods of most of those
mysterious associations which have played so important a part behind the
scenes of the world's history will be found to have emanated from the
lands where the first recorded acts of the great human drama were played
out--Egypt, Babylon, Syria, and Persia. On the one hand Eastern
mysticism, on the other Oriental love of intrigue, framed the systems
later on to be transported to the West with results so tremendous and

In the study of secret societies we have then a double line to
follow--the course of associations enveloping themselves in secrecy for
the pursuit of esoteric knowledge, and those using mystery and secrecy
for an ulterior and, usually, a political purpose.

But esotericism again presents a dual aspect. Here, as in every phase of
earthly life, there is the _revers de la medaille_--white and black,
light and darkness, the Heaven and Hell of the human mind. The quest for
hidden knowledge may end with initiation into divine truths or into dark
and abominable cults. Who knows with what forces he may be brought in
contact beyond the veil? Initiation which leads to making use of
spiritual forces, whether good or evil, is therefore capable of raising
man to greater heights or of degrading him to lower depths than he could
ever have reached by remaining on the purely physical plane. And when
men thus unite themselves in associations, a collective force is
generated which may exercise immense influence over the world around.
Hence the importance of secret societies.

Let it be said once and for all, secret societies have not always been
formed for evil purposes. On the contrary, many have arisen from the
highest aspirations of the human mind--the desire for a knowledge of
eternal verities. The evil arising from such systems has usually
consisted in the perversion of principles that once were pure and holy.
If I do not insist further on this point, it is because a vast
literature has already been devoted to the subject, so that it need only
be touched on briefly here.

Now, from the earliest times groups of Initiates or "Wise Men" have
existed, claiming to be in possession of esoteric doctrines known as the
"Mysteries," incapable of apprehension by the vulgar, and relating to
the origin and end of man, the life of the soul after death, and the
nature of God or the gods. It is this exclusive attitude which
constitutes the essential difference between the Initiates of the
ancient world and the great Teachers of religion with whom modern
occultists seek to confound them. For whilst religious leaders such as
Buddha and Mohammed sought for divine knowledge in order that they might
impart it to the world, the Initiates believed that sacred mysteries
should not be revealed to the profane but should remain exclusively in
their own keeping, although the desire for initiation might spring from
the highest aspiration, the gratification, whether real or imaginary, of
this desire often led to spiritual arrogance and abominable tyranny,
resulting in the fearful trials, the tortures physical and mental,
ending even at times in death, to which the neophyte was subjected by
his superiors.

The Mysteries

According to a theory current in occult and masonic circles, certain
ideas were common to all the more important "Mysteries," thus forming a
continuous tradition handed down through succeeding groups of Initiates
of different ages and countries. Amongst these ideas is said to have
been the conception of the unity of God. Whilst to the multitude it was
deemed advisable to preach polytheism, since only in this manner could
the plural aspects of the Divine be apprehended by the multitude, the
Initiates themselves believed in the existence of one Supreme Being, the
Creator of the Universe, pervading and governing all things, Le
Plongeon, whose object is to show an affinity between the sacred
Mysteries of the Mayas and of the Egyptians, Chaldeans, and Greeks,
asserts that "The idea of a sole and omnipotent Deity, who created all
things, seems to have been the universal belief in early ages, amongst
all the nations that had reached a high degree of civilization. This was
the doctrine of the Egyptian priests."[11] The same writer goes on to
say that the "doctrine of a Supreme Deity composed of three parts
distinct from each other, yet forming one, was universally prevalent
among the civilized nations of America, Asia, and the Egyptians," and
that the priests and learned men of Egypt, Chaldea, India, or China
"...kept it a profound secret and imparted it only to a few select among
those initiated in the sacred mysteries."[12] This view has been
expressed by many other writers, yet lacks historical proof.

That monotheism existed in Egypt before the days of Moses is, however,
certain. Adolf Erman asserts that "even in early times the educated
class" believed all the deities of the Egyptian religion to be identical
and that "the priests did not shut their eyes to this doctrine, but
strove to grasp the idea of the one God, divided into different persons
by poesy and myth.... The priesthood, however, had not the courage to
take the final step, to do away with those distinctions which they
declared to be immaterial, and to adore the one God under the one
name."[13] It was left to Amenhotep IV, later known as Ikhnaton, to
proclaim this doctrine openly to the people. Professor Breasted has
described the hymns of praise to the Sun God which Ikhnaton himself
wrote on the walls of the Amarna tomb-chapels:

     They show us the simplicity and beauty of the young king's faith in
     the sole God. He had gained the belief that one God created not
     only all the lower creatures but also all races of men, both
     Egyptians and foreigners. Moreover, the king saw in his God a
     kindly Father, who maintained all his creatures by his goodness....
     In all the progress of men which we have followed through thousands
     of years, no one had ever before caught such a vision of the great
     Father of all.[14]

May not the reason why Ikhnaton was later described as a "heretic" be
that he violated the code of the priestly hierarchy by revealing this
secret doctrine to the profane? Hence, too, perhaps the necessity in
which the King found himself of suppressing the priesthood, which by
persisting in its exclusive attitude kept what he perceived to be the
truth from the minds of the people.

The earliest European centre of the Mysteries appears to have been
Greece, where the Eleusinian Mysteries existed at a very early date.
Pythagoras, who was born in Samos about 582 B.C., spent some years in
Egypt, where he was initiated into the Mysteries of Isis. After his
return to Greece, Pythagoras is said to have been initiated into the
Eleusinian Mysteries and attempted to found a secret society in Samos;
but this proving unsuccessful, he journeyed on to Crotona in Italy,
where he collected around him a great number of disciples and finally
established his sect. This was divided into two classes of
Initiates--the first admitted only into the exoteric doctrines of the
master, with whom they were not allowed to speak until after a period of
five years' probation; the second consisting of the real Initiates, to
whom all the mysteries of the esoteric doctrines of Pythagoras were
unfolded. This course of instruction, given, after the manner of the
Egyptians, by means of images and symbols, began with geometrical
science, in which Pythagoras during his stay in Egypt had become an
adept, and led up finally to abstruse speculations concerning the
transmigration of the soul and the nature of God, who was represented
under the conception of a Universal Mind diffused through all things. It
is, however, as the precursor of secret societies formed later in the
West of Europe that the sect of Pythagoras enters into the scope of this
book. Early masonic tradition traces Freemasonry partly to Pythagoras,
who is said to have travelled in England, and there is certainly some
reason to believe that his geometrical ideas entered into the system of
the operative guilds of masons.

The Jewish Cabala[15]

According to Fabre d'Olivet, Moses, who "was learned in all the wisdom
of the Egyptians," drew from the Egyptian Mysteries a part of the oral
tradition which was handed down through the leaders of the
Israelites.[16] That such an oral tradition, distinct from the written
word embodied in the Pentateuch, did descend from Moses and that it was
later committed to writing in the Talmud and the Cabala is the opinion
of many Jewish writers.[17]

The first form of the Talmud, called the Mischna, appeared in about the
second or third century A.D.; a little later a commentary was added
under the name of the Gemara. These two works compose the Jerusalem
Talmud, which was revised in the third to the fifth centry[A]. This
later edition was named the Babylonian Talmud and is the one now in use.

The Talmud relates mainly to the affairs of everyday life--the laws of
buying and selling, of making contracts--also to external religious
observances, on all of which the most meticulous details are given. As a
Jewish writer has expressed it:

     ... the oddest rabbinical conceits are elaborated through many
     volumes with the finest dialectic, and the most absurd questions
     are discussed with the highest efforts of intellectual power; for
     example, how many white hairs may a red cow have, and yet remain a
     _red_ cow; what sort of scabs require this or that purification;
     whether a louse or a flea may be killed on the Sabbath--the first
     being allowed, while the second is a deadly sin; whether the
     slaughter of an animal ought to be executed at the neck or the
     tail; whether the high priest put on his shirt or his hose first;
     whether the _Jabam_, that is, the brother of a man who died
     childless, being required by law to marry the widow, is relieved
     from his obligation if he falls off a roof and sticks in the

But it is in the Cabala, a Hebrew word signifying "reception," that is
to say "a doctrine orally received," that the speculative and
philosophical or rather the theosophical doctrines of Israel are to be
found. These are contained in two books, the _Sepher Yetzirah_ and the

The _Sepher Yetzirah_, or Book of the Creation, is described by
Edersheim as "a monologue on the part of Abraham, in which, by the
contemplation of all that is around him, he ultimately arrives at the
conclusion of the unity of God"[19]; but since this process is
accomplished by an arrangement of the Divine Emanations under the name
of the Ten Sephiroths, and in the permutation of numerals and of the
letters of the Hebrew alphabet, it would certainly convey no such
idea--nor probably indeed any idea at all--to the mind uninitiated into
Cabalistic systems. The Sepher Yetzirah is in fact admittedly a work of
extraordinary obscurity[20] and almost certainly of extreme antiquity.
Monsieur Paul Vulliaud, in his exhaustive work on the Cabala recently
published,[21] says that its date has been placed as early as the sixth
century before Christ and as late as the tenth century A.D., but that it
is at any rate older than the Talmud is shown by the fact that in the
Talmud the Rabbis are described as studying it for magical purposes.[22]
The Sepher Yetzirah is also said to be the work referred to in the Koran
under the name of the "Book of Abraham."[23]

The immense compilation known as the _Sepher-Ha-Zohar_, or Book of
Light, is, however, of greater importance to the study of Cabalistic
philosophy. According to the Zohar itself, the "Mysteries of Wisdom"
were imparted to Adam by God whilst he was still in the Garden of Eden,
in the form of a book delivered by the angel Razael. From Adam the book
passed on to Seth, then to Enoch, to Noah, to Abraham, and later to
Moses, one of its principal exponents.[24] Other Jewish writers declare,
however, that Moses received it for the first time on Mount Sinai and
communicated it to the Seventy Elders, by whom it was handed down to
David and Solomon, then to Ezra and Nehemiah, and finally to the Rabbis
of the early Christian era.[25]

Until this date the Zohar had remained a purely oral tradition, but now
for the first time it is said to have been written down by the disciples
of Simon ben Jochai. The Talmud relates that for twelve years the Rabbi
Simon and his son Eliezer concealed themselves in a cavern, where,
sitting in the sand up to their necks, they meditated on the sacred law
and were frequently visited by the prophet Elias.[26] In this way,
Jewish legend adds, the great book of the Zohar was composed and
committed to writing by the Rabbi's son Eliezer and his secretary the
Rabbi Abba.[27]

The first date at which the Zohar is definitely known to have appeared
is the end of the thirteenth century, when it was committed to writing
by a Spanish Jew, Moses de Leon, who, according to Dr. Ginsburg, said he
had discovered and reproduced the original document of Simon ben Jochai;
his wife and daughter, however, declared that he had composed it all
himself.[28] Which is the truth? Jewish opinion is strongly divided on
this question, one body maintaining that the Zohar is the comparatively
modern work of Moses de Leon, the other declaring it to be of extreme
antiquity. M. Vulliaud, who has collated all these views in the course
of some fifty pages, shows that although the name Zohar might have
originated with Moses de Leon, the ideas it embodied were far older than
the thirteenth century. How, he asks pertinently, would it have been
possible for the Rabbis of the Middle Ages to have been deceived into
accepting as an ancient document a work that was of completely modern
origin?[29] Obviously the Zohar was not the composition of Moses de
Leon, but a compilation made by him from various documents dating from
very early times. Moreover, as M. Vulliaud goes on to explain, those who
deny its antiquity are the anti-Cabalists, headed by Graetz, whose
object is to prove the Cabala to be at variance with orthodox Judaism.
Theodore Reinach goes so far as to declare the Cabala to be "a subtle
poison which enters into the veins of Judaism and wholly infests it";
Salomon Reinach calls it "one of the worst aberrations of the human
mind."[30] This view, many a student of the Cabala will hardly dispute,
but to say that it is foreign to Judaism is another matter. The fact is
that the main ideas of the Zohar find confirmation in the Talmud. As the
_Jewish Encyclopaedia_ observes, "the Cabala is not really in opposition
to the Talmud," and "many Talmudic Jews have supported and contributed
to it."[31] Adolphe Franck does not hesitate to describe it as "the
heart and life of Judaism."[32] "The greater number of the most eminent
Rabbis of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries believed firmly in
the sacredness of the Zohar and the infallibility of its teaching."[33]

The question of the antiquity of the Cabala is therefore in reality
largely a matter of names. That a mystical tradition existed amongst the
Jews from remote antiquity will hardly be denied by anyone[34]; it is
therefore, as M. Vulliaud observes, "only a matter of knowing at what
moment Jewish mysticism took the name of Cabala."[35] Edersheim asserts

     It is undeniable that, already at the time of Jesus Christ, there
     existed an assemblage of doctrines and speculations that were
     carefully concealed from the multitude. They were not even revealed
     to ordinary scholars, for fear of leading them towards heretical
     ideas. This kind bore the name of Kabbalah, and as the term (of
     Kabbalah, to receive, transmit) indicates, it represented the
     spiritual traditions transmitted from the earliest ages, although
     mingled in the course of time with impure or foreign elements.[36]

Is the Cabala, then, as Gougenot des Mousseaux asserts, older than the
Jewish race, a legacy handed down from the first patriarchs of the
world?[37] We must admit this hypothesis to be incapable of proof, yet
it is one that has found so much favour with students of occult
traditions that it cannot be ignored. The Jewish Cabala itself supports
it by tracing its descent from the patriarchs--Adam, Noah, Enoch, and
Abraham--who lived before the Jews as a separate race came into
existence. Eliphas Levi accepts this genealogy, and relates that "the
Holy Cabala" was the tradition of the children of Seth carried out of
Chaldea by Abraham, who was "the inheritor of the secrets of Enoch and
the father of initiation in Israel."[38]

According to this theory, which we find again propounded by the American
Freemason, Dr. Mackey,[39] there was, besides the divine Cabala of the
children of Seth, the magical Cabala of the children of Cain, which
descended to the Sabeists, or star-worshippers, of Chaldea, adepts in
astrology and necromancy. Sorcery, as we know, had been practised by the
Canaanites before the occupation of Palestine by the Israelites; Egypt
India, and Greece also had their soothsayers and diviners. In spite of
the imprecations against sorcery contained in the law of Moses, the
Jews, disregarding these warnings, caught the contagion and mingled the
sacred tradition they had inherited with magical ideas partly borrowed
from other races and partly of their own devising. At the same time the
speculative side of the Jewish Cabala borrowed from the philosophy of
the Persian Magi, of the Neo-Platonists,[40] and of the
Neo-Pythagoreans. There is, then, some justification for the
anti-Cabalists' contention that what we know to-day as the Cabala is not
of purely Jewish origin.

Gougenot des Mousseaux, who had made a profound study of occultism,
asserts that there were therefore two Cabalas: the ancient sacred
tradition handed down from the first patriarchs of the human race; and
the evil Cabala, wherein this sacred tradition was mingled by the Rabbis
with barbaric superstitions, combined with their own imaginings and
henceforth marked with their seal.[41] This view also finds expression
in the remarkable work of the converted Jew Drach, who refers to--

     The ancient and true Cabala, which ... we distinguish from the
     modern Cabala, false, condemnable, and condemned by the Holy See,
     the work of the Rabbis, who have also falsified and perverted the
     Talmudic tradition. The doctors of the Synagogue trace it back to
     Moses, whilst at the same time admitting that the principal truths
     it contains were those known by revelation to the first patriarchs
     of the world.[42]

Further on Drach quotes the statement of Sixtus of Sienna, another
converted Jew and a Dominican, protected by Pius V:

     Since by the decree of the Holy Roman Inquisition all books
     appertaining to the Cabala have lately been condemned, one must
     know that the Cabala is double; that one is true, the other false.
     The true and pious one is that which ... elucidates the secret
     mysteries of the holy law according to the principle of anagogy
     (i.e. figurative interpretation). This Cabala therefore the Church
     has never condemned. The false and impious Cabala is a certain
     mendacious kind of Jewish tradition, full of innumerable vanities
     and falsehoods, differing but little from necromancy. This kind of
     superstition, therefore, improperly called Cabala, the Church
     within the last few years has deservedly condemned.[43]

The modern Jewish Cabala presents a dual aspect--theoretical and
practical; the former concerned with theosophical speculations, the
latter with magical practices. It would be impossible here to give an
idea of Cabalistic theosophy with its extraordinary imaginings on the
Sephiroths, the attributes and functions of good and bad angels,
dissertations on the nature of demons, and minute details on the
appearance of God under the name of the Ancient of Ancients, from whose
head 400,000 worlds receive the light. "The length of this face from the
top of the head is three hundred and seventy times ten thousand worlds.
It is called the 'Long Face,' for such is the name of the Ancient of
Ancients."[44] The description of the hair and beard alone belonging to
this gigantic countenance occupies a large place in the Zoharic
treatise, Idra Raba.[45]

According to the Cabala, every letter in the Scriptures contains a
mystery only to be solved by the initiated.[46] By means of this system
of interpretation passages of the Old Testament are shown to bear
meanings totally unapparent to the ordinary reader. Thus the Zohar
explains that Noah was lamed for life by the bite of a lion whilst he
was in the ark,[47] the adventures of Jonah inside the whale are related
with an extraordinary wealth of imagination,[48] whilst the beautiful
story of Elisha and the Shunnamite woman is travestied in the most
grotesque manner.[49]

In the practical Cabala this method of "decoding" is reduced to a
theurgic or magical system in which the healing of diseases plays an
important part and is effected by means of the mystical arrangement of
numbers and letters, by the pronunciation of the Ineffable Name, by the
use of amulets and talismans, or by compounds supposed to contain
certain occult properties.

All these ideas derived from very ancient cults; even the art of working
miracles by the use of the Divine Name, which after the appropriation of
the Cabala by the Jews became the particular practice of Jewish
miracle-workers, appears to have originated in Chaldea.[50] Nor can the
insistence on the Chosen People theory, which forms the basis of all
Talmudic and Cabalistic writings, be regarded as of purely Jewish
origin; the ancient Egyptians likewise believed themselves to be "the
peculiar people specially loved by the gods."[51] But in the hands of
the Jews this belief became a pretension to the exclusive enjoyment of
divine favour. According to the Zohar, "all Israelites will have a part
in the future world,"[52] and on arrival there will not be handed over
like the _goyim_ (or non-Jewish races) to the hands of the angel Douma
and sent down to Hell.[53] Indeed the _goyim_ are even denied human
attributes. Thus the Zohar again explains that the words of the
Scripture "Jehovah Elohim made man" mean that He made Israel.[54] The
seventeenth-century Rabbinical treatise Emek ha Melek observes: "Our
Rabbis of blessed memory have said: 'Ye Jews are men because of the soul
ye have from the Supreme Man (i.e. God). But the nations of the world
are not styled men because they have not, from the Holy and Supreme Man,
the Neschama (or glorious soul), but they have the Nephesch (soul) from
Adam Belial, that is the malicious and unnecessary man, called Sammael,
the Supreme Devil.'"[55]

In conformity with this exclusive attitude towards the rest of the human
race, the Messianic idea which forms the dominating theme of the Cabala
is made to serve purely Jewish interests. Yet in its origins this idea
was possibly not Jewish. It is said by believers in an ancient secret
tradition common to other races besides the Jews, that a part of this
tradition related to a past Golden Age when man was free from care and
evil non-existent, to the subsequent fall of Man and the loss of this
primitive felicity, and finally to a revelation received from Heaven
foretelling the reparation of this loss and the coming of a Redeemer who
should save the world and restore the Golden Age. According to Drach:

     The tradition of a Man-God who should present Himself as the
     teacher and liberator of the fallen human race was constantly
     taught amongst all the enlightened nations of the globe. _Vetus et
     constans opinio_, as Suetonius says. It is of all times and of all

And Drach goes on to quote the evidence of Volney, who had travelled in
the East and declared that--

     The sacred and mythological traditions of earlier times had spread
     throughout all Asia the belief in a great Mediator who was to come,
     of a future Saviour, King, God, Conqueror, and Legislator who would
     bring back the Golden Age to earth and deliver men from the empire
     of evil.[57]

All that can be said with any degree of certainty with regard to this
belief is that it did exist amongst the Zoroastrians of Persia as well
as amongst the Jews. D'Herbelot, quoting Abulfaraj, shows that five
hundred years before Christ, Zerdascht, the leader of the Zoroastrians,
predicted the coming of the Messiah, at whose birth a star would appear.
He also told his disciples that the Messiah would be born of a virgin,
that they would be the first to hear of Him, and that they should bring
Him gifts.[58]

Drach believes that this tradition was taught in the ancient
synagogue,[59] thus explaining the words of St. Paul that unto the Jews
"were committed the oracles of God"[60]:

     This oral doctrine, which is the Cabala, had for its object the
     most sublime truths of the Faith which it brought back incessantly
     to the promised Redeemer, the foundation of the whole system of the
     ancient tradition.[61]

Drach further asserts that the doctrine of the Trinity formed a part of
this tradition:

     Whoever has familiarized himself with that which was taught by the
     ancient doctors of the Synagogue, particularly those who lived
     before the coming of the Saviour, knows that the Trinity in one God
     was a truth admitted amongst them from the earliest times.[62]

M. Vulliaud points out that Graetz admits the existence of this idea in
the Zohar: "It even taught certain doctrines which appeared favourable
to the Christian dogma of the Trinity!" And again: "It is incontestable
that the Zohar makes allusions to the beliefs in the Trinity and the
Incarnation."[63] M. Vulliaud adds: "The idea of the Trinity must
therefore play an important part in the Cabala, since it has been
possible to affirm that 'the characteristic of the Zohar and its
particular conception is its attachment to the principle of the
Trinity,'"[64] and further quotes Edersheim as saying that "a great
part of the explanation given in the writings of the Cabalists resembles
in a surprising manner the highest truths of Christianity."[65] It
would appear, then, that certain remnants of the ancient secret
tradition lingered on in the Cabala. The _Jewish Encyclopaedia_, perhaps
unintentionally, endorses this opinion, since in deriding the
sixteenth-century Christian Cabalists for asserting that the Cabala
contained traces of Christianity, it goes on to say that what appears to
be Christian in the Cabala is only ancient esoteric doctrine.[66] Here,
then, we have it on the authority of modern Jewish scholars that the
ancient secret tradition was in harmony with Christian teaching. But in
the teaching of the later synagogue the philosophy of the earlier sages
was narrowed down to suit the exclusive system of the Jewish hierarchy,
and the ancient hope of a Redeemer who should restore Man to the state
of felicity he had lost at the Fall was transformed into the idea of
salvation for the Jews alone[67] under the aegis of a triumphant and even
an avenging Messiah.[68] It is this Messianic dream perpetuated in the
modern Cabala which nineteen hundred years ago the advent of Christ on
earth came to disturb.

The Coming of the Redeemer

The fact that many Christian doctrines, such as the conception of a
Trinity, the miraculous birth and murder of a Deity, had found a place
in earlier religions has frequently been used as an argument to show
that the story of Christ was merely a new version of various ancient
legends, those of Attis, Adonis, or of Osiris, and that consequently the
Christian religion is founded on a myth. The answer to this is that the
existence of Christ on earth is an historic fact which no serious
authority has ever denied. The attempts of such writers as Drews and
J.M. Robertson to establish the theory of the "Christ-Myth," which find
an echo in the utterances of Socialist orators,[69] have been met with
so much able criticism as to need no further refutation. Sir James
Frazer, who will certainly not be accused of bigoted orthodoxy, observes
in this connexion:

     The doubts which have been cast on the historical reality of Jesus
     are, in my judgement, unworthy of serious attention.... To dissolve
     the founder of Christianity into a myth, as some would do, is
     hardly less absurd than it would be to do the same for Mohammed,
     Luther, and Calvin.[70]

May not the fact that certain circumstances in the life of Christ were
foreshadowed by earlier religions indicate, as Eliphas Levi observes,
that the ancients had an intuition of Christian mysteries?[71]

To those therefore who had adhered to the ancient tradition, Christ
appeared as the fulfilment of a prophecy as old as the world. Thus the
wise men came from afar to worship the Babe of Bethlehem, and when they
saw His star in the East they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. In
Christ they hailed not only Him who was born King of the Jews, but the
Saviour of the whole human race.[72]

In the light of this great hope, that wondrous night in Bethlehem is
seen in all its sublimity. Throughout the ages the seers had looked for
the coming of the Redeemer, and lo! He was here; but it was not to the
mighty in Israel, to the High Priests and the Scribes, that His birth
was announced, but to humble shepherds watching their flocks by night.
And these men of simple faith, hearing from the angels "the good tidings
of great joy" that a Saviour, "Christ the Lord" was born, went with
haste to see the babe lying in the manger, and returned "glorifying and
praising God." So also to the devout in Israel, to Simeon and to Anna
the prophetess, the great event appeared in its universal significance,
and Simeon, departing in peace, knew that his eyes had seen the
salvation that was to be "a light to lighten the Gentiles" as well as
the glory of the people of Israel.

But to the Jews, in whose hands the ancient tradition had been turned to
the exclusive advantage of the Jewish race, to the Rabbis, who had,
moreover, constituted themselves the sole guardians within this nation
of the said tradition, the manner of its fulfilment was necessarily
abhorrent. Instead of a resplendent Messiah who should be presented by
them to the people, a Saviour was born amongst the people themselves and
brought to Jerusalem to be presented to the Lord; a Saviour moreover
who, as time went on, imparted His divine message to the poor and humble
and declared that His Kingdom was not of this world. This was clearly
what Mary meant when she said that God had "scattered the proud in the
imagination of their hearts," that He had "put down the mighty from
their seats, and exalted them of low degree." Christ was therefore
doubly hateful to the Jewish hierarchy in that He attacked the
privilege of the race to which they belonged by throwing open the door
to all mankind, and the privilege of the caste to which they belonged by
revealing sacred doctrines to the profane and destroying their claim to
exclusive knowledge.

Unless viewed from this aspect, neither the antagonism displayed by the
Scribes and Pharisees towards our Lord nor the denunciations He uttered
against them can be properly understood. "Woe unto you, Lawyers! for ye
have taken away the key of knowledge: ye entered not in yourselves, and
them that were entering in ye hindered.... Woe unto you, Scribes and
Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men:
tor ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are
entering to go in." What did Christ mean by the key of knowledge?
Clearly the sacred tradition which, as Drach explains, foreshadowed the
doctrines of Christianity.[73] It was the Rabbis who perverted that
tradition, and thus "the guilt of these perfidious Doctors consisted in
their concealing from the people the traditional explanation of the
sacred books by means of which they would have been able to recognize
the Messiah in the person of Jesus Christ."[74] Many of the people,
however, did recognize Him; indeed, the multitude acclaimed Him,
spreading their garments before Him and crying, "Hosanna to the Son of
David! Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord!" Writers who
have cited the choice of Barabbas in the place of Christ as an instance
of misguided popular judgement, overlook the fact that this choice was
not spontaneous; it was the Chief Priests who delivered Christ "from
envy" and who "moved the people that Pilate should rather release unto
them Barabbas." _Then_ the people obediently cried out, "Crucify Him!"

So also it was the Rabbis who, after hiding from the people the meaning
of the sacred tradition at the moment of its fulfilment, afterwards
poisoned that same stream for future generations. Abominable calumnies
on Christ and Christianity occur not only in the Cabala but in the
earlier editions of the Talmud. In these, says Barclay--

     Our Lord and Saviour is "that one," "such a one," "a fool," "the
     leper," "the deceiver of Israel," etc. Efforts are made to prove
     that He is the son of Joseph Pandira before his marriage with Mary.
     His miracles are attributed to sorcery, the secret of which He
     brought in a slit in His flesh out of Egypt. He is said to have
     been first stoned and then hanged on the eve of the Passover. His
     disciples are called heretics and opprobrious names. They are
     accused of immoral practices, and the New Testament is called a
     sinful book. The references to these subjects manifest the most
     bitter aversion and hatred.[75]

One might look in vain for passages such as these in English or French
translations of the Talmud, for the reason that no complete translation
exists in these languages. This fact is of great significance. Whilst
the sacred books of every other important religion have been rendered
into our own tongue and are open to everyone to study, the book that
forms the foundation of modern Judaism is closed to the general public.
We can read English translations of the Koran, of the Dhammapada, of the
Sutta Nipata, of the Zend Avesta, of the Shu King, of the Laws of Manu,
of the Bhagavadgita, but we cannot read the Talmud. In the long series
of Sacred Books of the East the Talmud finds no place. All that is
accessible to the ordinary reader consists, on one hand, in expurgated
versions or judicious selections by Jewish and pro-Jewish compilers,
and, on the other hand, in "anti-Semitic" publications on which it would
be dangerous to place reliance. The principal English translation by
Rodkinson is very incomplete, and the folios are nowhere indicated, so
that it is impossible to look up a passage.[76] The French translation
by Jean de Pauly[B] professes to present the entire text of the Venetian
Talmud of 1520, but it does nothing of the kind.[77] The translator, in
the Preface, in fact admits that he has left out "sterile discussions"
and has throughout attempted to tone down "the brutality of certain
expressions which offend our ears." This of course affords him infinite
latitude, so that all passages likely to prove displeasing to the
"Hebraisants," to whom his work is particularly dedicated, are
discreetly expunged. Jean de Pauly's translation of the Cabala appears,
however, to be complete.[78] But a fair and honest rendering of the
whole Talmud into English or French still remains to be made.

Moreover, even the Hebrew scholar is obliged to exercise some
discrimination if he desires to consult the Talmud in its original
form. For by the sixteenth century, when the study of Hebrew became
general amongst Christians, the antisocial and anti-Christian tendencies
of the Talmud attracted the attention of the Censor, and in the Bale
Talmud of 1581 the most obnoxious passages and the entire treatise
Abodah Zara were suppressed.[79]

In the Cracow edition of 1604 that followed, these passages were
restored by the Jews, a proceeding which aroused so much indignation
amongst Christian students of Hebrew that the Jews became alarmed.
Accordingly a Jewish synod, assembled in Poland in 1631, ordered the
offending passages to be expunged again, but--according to Drach--to be
replaced by circles which the Rabbis were to fill in orally when giving
instruction to young Jews.[80] After that date the Talmud was for a time
carefully bowdlerized, so that in order to discover its original form it
is advisable to go back to the Venetian Talmud of 1520 before any
omissions were made, or to consult a modern edition. For now that the
Jews no longer fear the Christians, these passages are all said to have
been replaced and no attempt is made, as in the Middle Ages, to prove
that they do not refer to the Founder of Christianity.[81]

Thus the _Jewish Encyclopaedia_ admits that Jewish legends concerning
Jesus are found in the Talmud and Midrash and in "the life of Jesus
(Toledot Yeshu) that originated in the Middle Ages. It is the tendency
of all these sources to belittle the person of Jesus by ascribing to Him
illegitimate birth, magic, and a shameful death."[82]

The last work mentioned, the _Toledot Yeshu_, or the _Sepher Toldos
Jeschu_, described here as originating in the Middle Ages, probably
belongs in reality to a much earlier period. Eliphas Levi asserts that
"the Sepher Toldos, to which the Jews attribute a great antiquity and
which they hid from the Christians with such precautions that this book
was for a long while unfindable, is quoted for the first time by
Raymond Martin of the Order of the Preaching Brothers towards the end
of the thirteenth century.... This book was evidently written by a Rabbi
initiated into the mysteries of the Cabala."[83] Whether then the
Toledot Yeshu had existed for many centuries before it was first brought
to light or whether it was a collection of Jewish traditions woven into
a coherent narrative by a thirteenth-century Rabbi, the ideas it
contains can be traced back at least as far as the second century of the
Christian era. Origen, who in the middle of the third century wrote his
reply to the attack of Celsus on Christianity, refers to a scandalous
story closely resembling the Toledot Yeshu, which Celsus, who lived
towards the end of the second century, had quoted on the authority of a
Jew.[84] It is evident, therefore, that the legend it contains had long
been current in Jewish circles, but the book itself did not come into
the hands of Christians until it was translated into Latin by Raymond
Martin. Later on Luther summarized it in German under the name of _Schem
Hamphorasch_; Wagenseil in 1681 and Huldrich in 1705 published Latin
translations.[85] It is also to be found in French in Gustave Brunei's
_Evangiles Apocryphes_.

However repugnant it is to transcribe any portion of this blasphemous
work, its main outline must be given here in order to trace the
subsequent course of the anti-Christian secret tradition in which, as we
shall see, it has been perpetuated up to our own day. Briefly, then, the
Toledot Yeshu relates with the most indecent details that Miriam, a
hairdresser of Bethlehem,[86] affianced to a young man named Jochanan,
was seduced by a libertine, Joseph Panther or Pandira, and gave birth to
a son whom she named Johosuah or Jeschu. According to the Talmudic
authors of the Sota and the Sanhedrim, Jeschu was taken during his
boyhood to Egypt, where he was initiated into the secret doctrines of
the priests, and on his return to Palestine gave himself up to the
practice of magic.[87] The Toledot Yeshu, however, goes on to say that
on reaching manhood Jeschu learnt the secret of his illegitimacy, on
account of which he was driven out of the Synagogue and took refuge for
a time in Galilee. Now, there was in the Temple a stone on which was
engraved the Tetragrammaton or Schem Hamphorasch, that is to say, the
Ineffable Name of God; this stone had been found by King David when the
foundations of the Temple were being prepared and was deposited by him
in the Holy of Holies. Jeschu, knowing this, came from Galilee and,
penetrating into the Holy of Holies, read the Ineffable Name, which he
transcribed on to a piece of parchment and concealed in an incision
under his skin. By this means he was able to work miracles and to
persuade the people that he was the son of God foretold by Isaiah. With
the aid of Judas, the Sages of the Synagogue succeeded in capturing
Jeschu, who was then led before the Great and Little Sanhedrim, by whom
he was condemned to be stoned to death and finally hanged.

Such is the story of Christ according to the Jewish Cabalists, which
should be compared not only with the Christian tradition but with that
of the Moslems. It is perhaps not sufficiently known that the Koran,
whilst denying the divinity of Christ and also the fact of His
crucifixion,[88] nevertheless indignantly denounces the infamous legends
concerning Him perpetuated by the Jews, and confirms in beautiful
language the story of the Annunciation and the doctrine of the
Miraculous Conception.[89] "Remember when the angels said, 'O Mary!
verily hath God chosen thee and purified thee, and chosen thee above the
women of the worlds.' ... Remember when the angels said, 'O Mary! verily
God announceth to thee the Word from Him: His name shall be Messiah,
Jesus the son of Mary, illustrious in this world, and in the next, and
one of those who have near access to God.'"

The Mother of Jesus is shown to have been pure and to have "kept her
maidenhood"[90]; it was the Jews who spoke against Mary "a grievous
calumny."[91] Jesus Himself is described as "strengthened with the Holy
Spirit," and the Jews are reproached for rejecting "the Apostle of
God,"[92] to whom was given "the Evangel with its guidance and light
confirmatory of the preceding Law."[93]

Thus during the centuries that saw the birth of Christianity, although
other non-Christian forces arrayed themselves against the new faith, it
was left to the Jews to inaugurate a campaign of vilification against
the person of its Founder, whom Moslems to this day revere as one of the
great teachers of the world.[94]

The Essenes

A subtler device for discrediting Christianity and undermining belief in
the divine character of our Lord has been adopted by modern writers,
principally Jewish, who set out to prove that He belonged to the sect of
the Essenes, a community of ascetics holding all goods in common, which
had existed in Palestine before the birth of Christ. Thus the Jewish
historian Graetz declares that Jesus simply appropriated to himself the
essential features of Essenism, and that primitive Christianity was
"nothing but an offshoot of Essenism."[95] The Christian Jew Dr.
Ginsburg partially endorses this view in a small pamphlet[96] containing
most of the evidence that has been brought forward on the subject, and
himself expresses the opinion that "it will hardly be doubted that our
Saviour Himself belonged to this holy brotherhood."[97] So after
representing Christ as a magician in the Toledot Yeshu and the Talmud,
Jewish tradition seeks to explain His miraculous works as those of a
mere healer--an idea that we shall find descending right through the
secret societies to this day. Of course if this were true, if the
miracles of Christ were simply due to a knowledge of natural laws and
His doctrines were the outcome of a sect, the whole theory of His divine
power and mission falls to the ground. This is why it is essential to
expose the fallacies and even the bad faith on which the attempt to
identify Him with the Essenes is based.

Now, we have only to study the Gospels carefully in order to realize
that the teachings of Christ were totally different from those peculiar
to the Essenes.[98] Christ did not live in a fraternity, but, as Dr.
Ginsburg himself points out, associated with publicans and sinners. The
Essenes did not frequent the Temple and Christ was there frequently. The
Essenes disapproved of wine and marriage, whilst Christ sanctioned
marriage by His presence at the wedding of Cana in Galilee and there
turned water into wine. A further point, the most conclusive of all, Dr.
Ginsburg ignores, namely, that one of the principal traits of the
Essenes which distinguished them from the other Jewish sects of their
day was their disapproval of ointment, which they regarded as defiling,
whilst Christ not only commended the woman who brought the precious jar
of ointment, but reproached Simon for the omission: "My head with oil
thou didst not anoint: but this woman hath anointed My feet with
ointment." It is obvious that if Christ had been an Essene but had
departed from His usual custom on this occasion out of deference to the
woman's feelings, he would have understood why Simon had not offered Him
the same attention, and at any rate Simon would have excused himself on
these grounds. Further, if His disciples had been Essenes, would they
not have protested against this violation of their principles, instead
of merely objecting that the ointment was of too costly a kind?

But it is in attributing to Christ the Communistic doctrines of the
Essenes that Dr. Ginsburg's conclusions are the most misleading--a point
of particular importance in view of the fact that it is on this false
hypothesis that so-called "Christian Socialism" has been built up. "The
Essenes," he writes, "had all things in common, and appointed one of the
brethren as steward to manage the common bag; so the primitive
Christians (Acts ii. 44, 45, iv. 32-4; John xii. 6, xiii. 29)." It is
perfectly true that, as the first reference to the Acts testifies, some
of the primitive Christians after the death of Christ formed themselves
into a body having all things in common, but there is not the slightest
evidence that Christ and His disciples followed this principle. The
solitary passages in the Gospel of St. John, which are all that Dr.
Ginsburg can quote in support of this contention, may have referred to
an alms-bag or a fund for certain expenses, not to a common pool of all
monetary wealth. Still less is there any evidence that Christ advocated
Communism to the world in general. When the young man having great
possessions asked what he should do to inherit eternal life, Christ told
him to follow the commandments, but on the young man asking what more he
could do, answered: "If thou wilt be perfect go and sell that thou hast
and give to the poor." Renunciation--but not the pooling--of all wealth
was thus a counsel of perfection for the few who desired to devote their
lives to God, as monks and nuns have always done, and bore no relation
to the Communistic system of the Essenes.

Dr. Ginsburg goes on to say: "Essenism put all its members on the same
level, forbidding the exercise of authority of one over the other and
enjoining mutual service; so Christ (Matt. xx. 25-8; Mark ix. 35-7, x.
42-5). Essenism commanded its disciples to call no man master upon the
earth; so Christ (Matt. xxiii. 8-10)." As a matter of fact, Christ
strongly upheld the exercise of authority, not only in the oft-quoted
passage, "Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's," but in His
approval of the Centurion's speech: "I am a man under authority, having
soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to
another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth
it." Everywhere Christ commends the faithful servant and enjoins
obedience to masters. If we look up the reference to the Gospel of St.
Matthew where Dr. Ginsburg says that Christ commanded His disciples to
call no man master on earth, we shall find that he has not only
perverted the sense of the passage but reversed the order of the words,
which, following on a denunciation of the Jewish Rabbis, runs thus: "But
be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your master, even Christ, and all ye
are brethren.... Neither be ye called masters: for one is your master,
even Christ. But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant."
The apostles were therefore, never ordered to call no man master, but
not to be called master themselves. Moreover, if we refer to the Greek
text, we shall see that this was meant in a spiritual and not a social
sense. The word for "master" here given is in the first verse [Greek:
didaskalos], i.e. teacher, in the second, [Greek: kathegetes] literally
guide, and the word is servant is [Greek: diakonos]. When masters and
servants in the social sense are referred to in the Gospels, the word
employed for master is [Greek: kurios] and for servant [Greek: doulos].
Dr. Ginsburg should have been aware of this distinction and that the
passage in question had therefore no bearing on his argument. As a
matter of fact it would appear that some of the apostles kept servants,
since Christ commends them for exacting strict attention to duty:

     Which of you, having a servant ploughing or feeding cattle, will
     say unto him by and by, when he is come from the field, Go and sit
     down to meat? And will not rather say unto him, Make ready
     wherewith I may sup, and gird thyself, and serve me, till I have
     eaten and drunken; and afterwards thou shalt eat and drink? Doth he
     thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded to
     him? I trow not.[99]

This passage would alone suffice to show that Christ and His apostles
did not inhabit communities where all were equal, but followed the usual
practices of the social system under which they lived, though adopting
certain rules, such as taking only one garment and carrying no money
when they went on journeys. Those resemblances between the teaching of
the Essenes and the Sermon on the Mount which Dr. Ginsburg indicates
refer not to the customs of a sect, but to general precepts for human
conduct--humility, meekness, charity, and so forth.

At the same time it is clear that if the Essenes in general conformed to
some of the principles laid down by Christ, certain of their doctrines
were completely at variance with those of Christ and of primitive
Christians, in particular their custom of praying to the rising sun and
their disbelief in the resurrection of the body.[100] St. Paul denounces
asceticism, the cardinal doctrine of the Essenes, in unmeasured terms,
warning the brethren that "in the latter times some shall depart from
the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils, ...
forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God
hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and
know the truth. For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be
refused, if it be received with thanksgiving ... If thou put the
brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister
of Jesus Christ."

This would suggest that certain Essenean ideas had crept into Christian
communities and were regarded by those who remembered Christ's true
teaching as a dangerous perversion.

The Essenes were therefore not Christians, but a secret society,
practising four degrees of initiation, and bound by terrible oaths not
to divulge the sacred mysteries confided to them. And what were those
mysteries but those of the Jewish secret tradition which we now know as
the Cabala? Dr. Ginsburg throws an important light on Essenism when, in
one passage alone, he refers to the obligation of the Essenes "not to
divulge the secret doctrines to anyone, ... carefully to preserve the
books belonging to their sect and the names of the angels or the
mysteries connected with the Tetragrammaton and the other names of God
and the angels, comprised in the theosophy as well as with the cosmogony
which also played so important a part among the Jewish mystics and the
Kabbalists."[101] The truth is clearly that the Essenes were Cabalists,
though doubtless Cabalists of a superior kind. The Cabal they possessed
very possibly descended from pre-Christian times and had remained
uncontaminated by the anti-Christian strain introduced into it by the
Rabbis after the death of Christ.[102]

The Essenes are of importance to the subject of this book as the first
of the secret societies from which a direct line of tradition can be
traced up to the present day. But if in this peaceful community no
actually anti-Christian influence is to be discerned, the same cannot be
said of the succeeding pseudo-Christian sects which, whilst professing
Christianity, mingled with Christian doctrines the poison of the
perverted Cabala, main source of the errors which henceforth rent the
Christian Church in twain.

The Gnostics

The first school of thought to create a schism in Christianity was the
collection of sects known under the generic name of Gnosticism. In its
purer forms Gnosticism aimed at supplementing faith by knowledge of
eternal verities and at giving a wider meaning to Christianity by
linking it up with earlier faiths. "The belief that the divinity had
been manifested in the religious institutions of all nations"[103] thus
led to the conception of a sort of universal religion containing the
divine elements of all.

Gnosticism, however, as the _Jewish Encyclopaedia_ points out, "was
Jewish in character long before it became Christian."[104] M. Matter
indicates Syria and Palestine as its cradle and Alexandria as the centre
by which it was influenced at the time of its alliance with
Christianity. This influence again was predominantly Jewish. Philo and
Aristobulus, the leading Jewish philosophers of Alexandria, "wholly
attached to the ancient religion of their fathers, both resolved to
adorn it with the spoils of other systems and to open to Judaism the way
to immense conquests."[105] This method of borrowing from other races
and religions those ideas useful for their purpose has always been the
custom of the Jews. The Cabala, as we have seen, was made up of these
heterogeneous elements. And it is here we find the principal progenitor
of Gnosticism. The Freemason Ragon gives the clue in the words: "The
Cabala is the key of the occult sciences. The Gnostics were born of the

For the Cabala was much older than the Gnostics. Modern historians who
date it merely from the publication of the Zohar by Moses de Leon in the
thirteenth century or from the school of Luria in the sixteenth century
obscure this most important fact which Jewish savants have always
clearly, recognized.[107] The _Jewish Encyclopaedia_, whilst denying the
certainty of connexion between Gnosticism and the Cabala, nevertheless
admits that the investigations of the anti-Cabalist Graetz "must be
resumed on a new basis," and it goes on to show that "it was Alexandria
of the first century, or earlier, with her strange commingling of
Egyptian, Chaldean, Judean, and Greek culture which furnished soil and
seeds for that mystic philosophy."[108] But since Alexandria was at the
same period the home of Gnosticism, which was formed from the same
elements enumerated here, the connexion between the two systems is
clearly evident. M. Matter is therefore right in saying that Gnosticism
was not a defection from Christianity, but a combination of systems into
which a few Christian elements were introduced. The result of Gnosticism
was thus not to christianize the Cabala, but to cabalize Christianity by
mingling its pure and simple teaching with theosophy and even magic. The
_Jewish Encyclopaedia_ quotes the opinion that "the central doctrine of
Gnosticism--a movement closely connected with Jewish mysticism--was
nothing else than the attempt to liberate the soul and unite it with
God"; but as this was apparently to be effected "through the employment
of mysteries, incantations, names of angels," etc., it will be seen how
widely even this phase of Gnosticism differs from Christianity and
identifies itself with the magical Cabala of the Jews.

Indeed, the man generally recognized as the founder of Gnosticism, a Jew
commonly known as Simon Magus, was not only a Cabalist mystic but
avowedly a magician, who with a band of Jews, including his master
Dositheus and his disciples Menander and Cerinthus, instituted a
priesthood of the Mysteries and practised occult arts and
exorcisms.[109] It was this Simon of whom we read in the Acts of the
Apostles that he "bewitched the people of Samaria, giving out that
himself was some great one: to whom they all gave heed from the least to
the greatest, saying, This man is the great power of God," and who
sought to purchase the power of the laying on of hands with money.
Simon, indeed, crazed by his incantations and ecstasies, developed
megalomania in an acute form, arrogating to himself divine honours and
aspiring to the adoration of the whole world. According to a
contemporary legend, he eventually became sorcerer to Nero and ended his
life in Rome.[110]

The prevalence of sorcery amongst the Jews during the first century of
the Christian era is shown by other passages in the Acts of the
Apostles; in Paphos the "false prophet," a Jew, whose surname was
Bar-Jesus, otherwise known as "Elymas the sorcerer," opposed the
teaching of St. Paul and brought on himself the imprecation: "O full of
all subtlety and all mischief, thou child of the devil, thou enemy of
all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the

Perversion is the keynote of all the debased forms of Gnosticism.
According to Eliphas Levi, certain of the Gnostics introduced into their
rites that profanation of Christian mysteries which was to form the
basis of black magic in the Middle Ages.[111] The glorification of evil,
which plays so important a part in the modern revolutionary movement,
constituted the creed of the Ophites, who worshipped the Serpent
([Greek: ophis]) because he had revolted against Jehovah, to whom they
referred under the Cabalistic term of the "demiurgus,"[112] and still
more of the Cainites, so-called from their cult of Cain, whom, with
Dathan and Abiram, the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah, and finally
Judas Iscariot, they regarded as noble victims of the demiurgus.[113]
Animated by hatred of all social and moral order, the Cainites "called
upon all men to destroy the works of God and to commit every kind of

These men were therefore not only the enemies of Christianity but of
orthodox Judaism, since it was against the Jehovah of the Jews that
their hatred was particularly directed. Another Gnostic sect, the
Carpocratians, followers of Carpocrates of Alexandria and his son
Epiphanus--who died from his debaucheries and was venerated as a
god[115]--likewise regarded all written laws, Christian or Mosaic, with
contempt and recognized only the [Greek: gnosis] or knowledge given to
the great men of every nation--Plato and Pythagoras, Moses and
Christ--which "frees one from all that the vulgar call religion" and
"makes man equal to God."[116]

So in the Carpocratians of the second century we find already the
tendency towards that _deification of humanity_ which forms the supreme
doctrine of the secret societies and of the visionary Socialists of our
day. The war now begins between the two contending principles: the
Christian conception of man reaching up to God and the secret society
conception of man as God, needing no revelation from on high and no
guidance but the law of his own nature. And since that nature is in
itself divine, all that springs from it is praiseworthy, and those acts
usually regarded as sins are not to be condemned. By this line of
reasoning the Carpocratians arrived at much the same conclusions as
modern Communists with regard to the ideal social system. Thus
Epiphanus held that since Nature herself reveals the principle of the
community and the unity of all things, human laws which are contrary to
this law of Nature are so many culpable infractions of the legitimate
order of things. Before these laws were imposed on humanity everything
was in common--land, goods, and women. According to certain
contemporaries, the Carpocratians returned to this primitive system by
instituting the community of women and indulging in every kind of

The further Gnostic sect of Antitacts, following this same cult of human
nature, taught revolt against all positive religion and laws and the
necessity for gratifying the flesh; the Adamites of North Africa, going
a step further in the return to Nature, cast off all clothing at their
religious services so as to represent the primitive innocence of the
garden of Eden--a precedent followed by the Adamites of Germany in the
fifteenth century.[117]

These Gnostics, says Eliphas Levi, under the pretext of "spiritualizing
matter, materialized the spirit in the most revolting ways.... Rebels to
the hierarchic order, ... they wished to substitute the mystical licence
of sensual passions to wise Christian sobriety and obedience to laws....
Enemies of the family, they wished to produce sterility by increasing

By way of systematically perverting the doctrines of the Christian faith
the Gnostics claimed to possess the true versions of the Gospels, and
professed belief in these to the exclusion of all the others.[119] Thus
the Ebionites had their own corrupted version of the Gospel of St.
Matthew founded on the "Gospel of the Hebrews," known earlier to the
Jewish Christians; the Marcosians had their version of St. Luke, the
Cainites their own "Gospel of Judas," and the Valentinians their "Gospel
of St. John." As we shall see later, the Gospel of St. John is the one
that throughout the war on Christianity has been specially chosen for
the purpose of perversion.

Of course this spirit of perversion was nothing new; many centuries
earlier the prophet Isaiah had denounced it in the words: "Woe unto them
that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and
light for darkness!" But the role of the Gnostics was to reduce
perversion to a system by binding men together into sects working under
the guise of enlightenment in order to obscure all recognized ideas of
morality and religion. It is this which constitutes their importance in
the history of secret societies.

Whether the Gnostics themselves can be described as a secret society, or
rather as a ramification of secret societies, is open to question. M.
Matter, quoting a number of third-century writers, shows the possibility
that they had mysteries and initiations; the Church Fathers definitely
asserted this to be the case.[120] According to Tertullian, the
Valentinians continued, or rather perverted, the mysteries of Eleusis,
out of which they made a "sanctuary of prostitution."[121]

The Valentinians are known to have divided their members into three
classes--the Pneumatics, the Psychics, and the Hylics (i.e.
materialists); the Basilideans are also said to have possessed secret
doctrines known to hardly one in a thousand of the sect. From all this
M. Matter concludes that:

     1. The Gnostics professed to hold by means of tradition a secret
     doctrine superior to that contained in the public writings of the

     2. That they did not communicate this doctrine to everyone....

     3. That they communicated it by means of emblems and symbols, as
     the Diagram of the Ophites proves.

     4. That in these communications they imitated the rites and trials
     of the mysteries of Eleusis.[122]

This claim to the possession of a secret oral tradition, whether known
under the name of [Greek: gnosis] or of Cabala, confirms the conception
of the Gnostics as Cabalists and shows how far they had departed from
Christian teaching. For if only in this idea of "one doctrine for the
ignorant and another for the initiated," the Gnostics had restored the
very system which Christianity had come to destroy.[123]


Whilst we have seen the Gnostic sects working for more or less
subversive purposes under the guise of esoteric doctrines, we find in
the Manicheans of Persia, who followed a century later, a sect
embodying the same tendencies and approaching still nearer to secret
society organization.

Cubricus or Corbicius, the founder of Manicheism, was born in Babylonia
about the year A.D. 216. Whilst still a child he is said to have been
bought as a slave by a rich widow of Ctesiphon, who liberated him and on
her death left him great wealth. According to another story--for the
whole history of Manes rests on legends--he inherited from a rich old
woman the books of a Saracen named Scythianus on the wisdom of the
Egyptians. Combining the doctrines these books contained with ideas
borrowed from Zoroastrianism, Gnosticism, and Christianity, and also
with certain additions of his own, he elaborated a philosophic system
which he proceeded to teach. Cubricus then changed his name to Mani or
Manes and proclaimed himself the Paraclete promised by Jesus Christ. His
followers were divided into two classes--the outer circle of hearers or
combatants, and the inner circle of teachers or ascetics described as
the Elect. As evidence of their resemblance with Freemasons, it has been
said that the Manicheans made use of secret signs, grips, and passwords,
that owing to the circumstances of their master's adoption they called
Manes "the son of the widow" and themselves "the children of the widow,"
but this is not clearly proved. One of their customs is, however,
interesting in this connexion. According to legend, Manes undertook to
cure the son of the King of Persia who had fallen ill, but the prince
died, whereupon Manes was flayed alive by order of the king and his
corpse hanged up at the city gate. Every year after this, on Good
Friday, the Manicheans carried out a mourning ceremony known as the Bema
around the catafalque of Manes, whose real sufferings they were wont to
contrast with the unreal sufferings of Christ.

The fundamental doctrine of Manicheism is Dualism--that is to say, the
existence of two opposing principles in the world, light and darkness,
good and evil--founded, however, not on the Christian conception of this
idea, but on the Zoroastrian conception of Ormuzd and Ahriman, and so
perverted and mingled with Cabalistic superstitions that it met with as
vehement denunciation by Persian priests as by Christian Fathers. Thus,
according to the doctrine of Manes, all matter is absolute evil, the
principle of evil is eternal, humanity itself is of Satanic origin, and
the first human beings, Adam and Eve, are represented as the offspring
of devils.[124] Much the same idea may be found in the Jewish Cabala,
where it is said that Adam, after other abominable practices, cohabited
with female devils whilst Eve consoled herself with male devils, so that
whole races of demons were born into the world. Eve is also accused of
cohabiting with the Serpent.[125] In the Yalkut Shimoni it is also
related that during the 130 years that Adam lived apart from Eve, "he
begat a generation of devils, spirits, and hobgoblins."[126] Manichean
demonology thus paved the way for the placation of the powers of
darkness practised by the Euchites at the end of the fourth century and
later by the Paulicians, the Bogomils, and the Luciferians.

So it is in Gnosticism and Manicheism that we find evidence of the first
attempts to pervert Christianity. The very fact that all such have been
condemned by the Church as "heresies" has tended to enlist sympathy in
their favour, yet even Eliphas Levi recognizes that here the action of
the Church was right, for the "monstrous gnosis of Manes" was a
desecration not only of Christian doctrines but of pre-Christian sacred



We have followed the efforts of subversive sects hitherto directed
against Christianity and orthodox Judaism; we shall now see this
attempt, reduced by gradual stages to a working system of extraordinary
efficiency, organized for the purpose of undermining all moral and
religious beliefs in the minds of Moslems. In the middle of the seventh
century an immense schism was created in Islam by the rival advocates of
successors to the Prophet, the orthodox Islamites known by the name of
Sunnis adhering to the elected Khalifas Abu Bakr, Omar, and Othman,
whilst the party of revolt, known as the Shiahs, claimed the Khalifate
for the descendants of Mohammed through Ali, son of Abu-Talib and
husband of Fatima, the Prophet's daughter. This division ended in open
warfare; Ali was finally assassinated, his elder son Hason was poisoned
in Medina, his younger son Husain fell at the battle of Kerbela fighting
against the supporters of Othman. The deaths of Hasan and Husain are
still mourned yearly by the Shiahs at the Moharram.

The Ismailis

The Shiahs themselves split again over the question of Ali's successors
into four factions, the fourth of which divided again into two further
sects. Both of these retained their allegiance to the descendants of Ali
as far as Jafar-as-Sadik, but whilst one party, known as the Imamias or
Isna-Asharias (i.e. the Twelvers), supported the succession through his
younger son Musa to the twelfth Iman Mohammed, son of Askeri, the
Ismailis (or Seveners) adhered to Ismail, the elder son of


    Choice of SUNNIS
    Abu Bakr (1st Khalifa) 632
    Omar 634
    Othman 644

    Choice of SHIAHS

        MOHAMMED A.D. 570-632
          Fatima married Ali
      Abu Talib
        ALI (4th Sunni and 1st Shiah Khalifa murdered in Kufa)
          (2) Hasan poisoned A.D. 680
          (3) Husain killed at battle of Kerbela A.D. 680
            (4) Ali II
              (5) Mohammed
                (6) Jafar-as-Sadik
                  Choice of ISMAILIS
                   (7) Ismail
                     Mohammed disappeared circ. 770
                  Choice of IMAMIAS or ISNA-ASHARIAS
                    (7) Abu'I Hasan Musa
                      (8) Ali III
                        (9) Abu Jafar Mohammed
                          (10) Ali
                            (11) Abu Mohammed al Askari
                              (12) Mohammed al Mahdi

      ISMAILIS circ. A.D. 770
        BATINIS (founded by Abdullah ibn Maymun) circ. A.D. 872
          FATIMITES (under Ubeidallah 1st Fatimite Khalifa) A.D. 909
            Fatimite Khalifas of Egypt A.D. 977
              HAKIM 6th Fatimite Khalifa A.D. 996
                Founds Dar-ul-Hikmat A.D. 1004
                  ASSASSINS (under Hasan Saba) A.D. 1090
                  DRUSES (under Hazza) circ. A.D. 1021
          KARMATHITES (under Hamdan Karmath) A.D. 896


     The above table shows the rival lines of Khalifas--on the left the
     elected successors, choice of the Sunnis; on the right the lineal
     descendants, choice of the Shiahs. The figure at the side of each
     name indicates the number in succession of the Khalifa mentioned.
     The table inset shows the sects to which the disputes over the
     succession gave birth.


So far, however, in spite of divisions, no body of Shiahs had ever
deviated from the fundamental doctrines of Islamism, but merely claimed
that these had been handed down through a different line from that
recognized by the Sunnis. The earliest Ismailis, who formed themselves
into a party at about the time of the death of Mohammed, son of Ismail
(i.e. circ. A.D. 770), still remained believers, declaring only that the
true teaching of the Prophet had descended to Mohammed, who was not dead
but would return in the fullness of time and that he was the Mahdi whom
Moslems must await. But in about A.D. 873 an intriguer of extraordinary
subtlety succeeded in capturing the movement, which, hitherto merely
schismatic, now became definitely subversive, not only of Islamism, but
of all religious belief.

This man, Abdullah ibn Maymun, the son of a learned and free-thinking
doctor in Southern Persia, brought up in the doctrines of Gnostic
Dualism and profoundly versed in all religions, was in reality, like his
father, a pure materialist. By professing adherence to the creed of
orthodox Shi-ism, and proclaiming a knowledge of the mystic doctrines
which the Ismailis believed to have descended through Ismail to his son
Mohammed, Abdullah succeeded in placing himself at the head of the

His advocacy of Ismail was thus merely a mask, his real aim being
materialism, which he now proceeded to make into a system by founding a
sect known as the Batinis with seven degrees of initiation. Dozy has
given the following description of this amazing project:

     To link together into one body the vanquished and the conquerors;
     to unite in the form of a vast secret society with many degrees of
     initiation free-thinkers--who regarded religion only as a curb for
     the people--and bigots of all sects; to make tools of believers in
     order to give power to sceptics; to induce conquerors to overturn
     the empires they had founded; to build up a party, numerous,
     compact, and disciplined, which in due time would give the throne,
     if not to himself, at least to his descendants, such was Abdullah
     ibn Maymun's general aim--an extraordinary conception which he
     worked out with marvellous tact, incomparable skill, and a profound
     knowledge of the human heart. The means which he adopted were
     devised with diabolical cunning....

     It was ... not among the Shi-ites that he sought his true
     supporters, but among the Ghebers, the Manicheans, the pagans of
     Harran, and the students of Greek philosophy; on the last alone
     could he rely, to them alone could he gradually unfold the final
     mystery, and reveal that Imams, religions, and morality were
     nothing but an imposture and an absurdity. The rest of mankind--the
     "asses," as Abdullah called them--were incapable of understanding
     such doctrines. But to gain his end he by no means disdained their
     aid; on the contrary, he solicited it, but he took care to initiate
     devout and lowly souls only in the first grades of the sect. His
     missionaries, who were inculcated with the idea that their first
     duty was to conceal their true sentiments and adapt themselves to
     the views of their auditors, appeared in many guises, and spoke, as
     it were, in a different language to each class. They won over the
     ignorant vulgar by feats of legerdemain which passed for miracles,
     or excited their curiosity by enigmatical discourse. In the
     presence of the devout they assumed the mask of virtue and piety.
     With mystics they were mystical, and unfolded the inner meanings of
     phenomena, or explained allegories and the figurative sense of the
     allegories themselves....

     By means such as these the extraordinary result was brought about
     that a multitude of men of diverse beliefs were all working
     together for an object known only to a few of them....[128]

I quote this passage at length because it is of immense importance in
throwing a light on the organization of modern secret societies. It does
not matter what the end may be, whether political, social, or religious,
the system remains the same--the setting in motion of a vast number of
people and making them work in a cause unknown to them. That this was
the method adopted by Weishaupt in organizing the Illuminati and that it
came to him from the East will be shown later on. We shall now see how
the system of the philosopher Abdullah paved the way for bloodshed by
the most terrible sect the world had ever seen.

The Karmathites

The first open acts of violence resulting from the doctrines of Abdullah
were carried out by the Karmathites, a new development of the Ismailis.
Amongst the many Dais sent out by the leader--which included his son
Ahmed and Ahmed's son--was the Dai Hosein Ahwazi, Abdullah's envoy to
Irak in Persia, who initiated a certain Hamdan surnamed Karmath into the
secrets of the sect. Karmath, who was a born intriguer and believed in
nothing, became the leader of the Karmathites in Arabia, where a number
of Arabs were soon enlisted in the society. With extraordinary skill he
succeeded in persuading these dupes to make over all their money to him,
first by means of small contributions, later by larger sums, until at
last he convinced them of the advantages of abolishing all private
property and establishing the system of the community of goods and
wives. This principle was enforced by the passage of the Koran:
"Remember the grace of God in that whilst you were enemies, He has
united your hearts, so that by His grace you have become brothers...."
De Sacy thus trans-scribes the methods employed as given by the
historian Nowairi:

     When Karmath had succeeded in establishing all this, and everyone
     had agreed to conform to it, he ordered the Dais to assemble all
     the women on a certain night so that they should mingle
     promiscuously with all the men. This, he said, was perfection and
     the last degree of friendship and fraternal union. Often a husband
     led his wife and presented her himself to one of his brothers when
     that gave him pleasure. When he (Karmath) saw that he had become
     absolute master of their minds, had assured himself of their
     obedience, and found out the degree of their intelligence and
     discernment, he began to lead them quite astray. He put before them
     arguments borrowed from the doctrines of the Dualists. They fell in
     easily with all that he proposed, and then he took away from them
     all religion and released them from all those duties of piety,
     devotion, and the fear of God that he prescribed for them in the
     beginning. He permitted them pillage, and every sort of immoral
     licence, and taught them to throw off the yoke of prayer, fasting,
     and other precepts. He taught them that they were held by no
     obligations, and that they could pillage the goods and shed the
     blood of their adversaries with impunity, that the knowledge of the
     master of truth to whom he had called them took the place of
     everything else, and that with this knowledge they need no longer
     fear sin or punishment.

As the result of these teachings the Karmathites rapidly became a band
of brigands, pillaging and massacring all those who opposed them and
spreading terror throughout all the surrounding districts.

Peaceful fraternity was thus turned into a wild lust for conquest; the
Karmathites succeeded in dominating a great part of Arabia and the mouth
of the Euphrates, and in A.D. 920 extended their ravages westwards. They
took possession of the holy city of Mecca, in the defence of which
30,000 Moslems fell. "For a whole century," says von Hammer, "the
pernicious doctrines of Karmath raged with fire and sword in the very
bosom of Islamism, until the widespread conflagration was extinguished
in blood."

But in proclaiming themselves revolutionaries the Karmathites had
departed from the plan laid down by the originator of their creed,
Abdullah ibn Maymun, which had consisted not in acts of open violence
but in a secret doctrine which should lead to the gradual undermining of
all religious faith and a condition of mental anarchy rather than of
material chaos. For violence, as always, had produced counter-violence,
and it was thus that while the Karmathites were rushing to their own
destruction through a series of bloody conflicts, another branch of the
Ismailis were quietly reorganizing their forces more in conformity with
the original method of their founder. These were the Fatimites,
so-called from their professed belief that the doctrine of the Prophet
had descended from Ali, husband of Fatima, Mohammed's daughter. Whilst
less extreme than the Karmathites, or than their predecessor Abdullah
ibn Maymun, the Fatimites, according to the historian Makrizi,
adopted the method of instilling doubts into the minds of believers and
aimed at the substitution of a natural for a revealed religion. Indeed,
after the establishment of their power in Egypt, it is difficult to
distinguish any appreciable degree of difference in the character of
their teaching from the anarchic code of Abdullah and his more violent
exponent Karmath.

The Fatimites

The founder of the Fatimite dynasty of the Khalifas was one Ubeidallah,
known as the Mahdi, accused of Jewish ancestry by his adversaries the
Abbasides, who declared--apparently without truth--that he was the son
or grandson of Ahmed, son of Adbullah ibn Maymun, by a Jewess. Under
the fourth Fatimite Khalifa Egypt fell into the power of the dynasty,
and, before long, bi-weekly assemblages of both men and women known as
"societies of wisdom" were instituted in Cairo. In 1004 these acquired a
greater importance by the establishment of the Dar ul Hikmat, or the
House of Knowledge, by the sixth Khalifa Hakim, who was raised to a
deity after his death and is worshipped to this day by the Druses. Under
the direction of the Dar ul Hikmat or Grand Lodge of Cairo, the
Fatimites continued the plan of Abdullah ibn Maymun's secret society
with the addition of two more degrees, making nine in all. Their method
of enlisting proselytes and system of initiation--which, as Claudio
Jannet points out, "are absolutely those which Weishaupt, the founder of
the _Illuminati_, prescribed to the 'Insinuating Brothers'"[129]--were
transcribed by the fourteenth-century historian Nowairi in a description
that may be briefly summarized thus[130]:

The proselytes were broadly divided into two classes, the learned and
the ignorant. The Dai was to agree with the former, applauding his
wisdom, and to impress the latter with his own knowledge by asking him
perplexing questions on the Koran. Thus in initiating him into the first
degree the Dai assumed an air of profundity and explained that religious
doctrines were too abstruse for the ordinary mind, but must be
interpreted by men who, like the Dais, had a special knowledge of this
science. The initiate was bound to absolute secrecy concerning the
truths to be revealed to him and obliged to pay in advance for these
revelations. In order to pique his curiosity, the Dai would suddenly
stop short in the middle of a discourse, and should the novice finally
decline to pay the required sum, he was left in a state of bewilderment
which inspired him with the desire to know more.

In the second degree the initiate was persuaded that all his former
teachers were wrong and that he must place his confidence solely in
those Imams endowed with authority from God; in the third he learnt that
these Imams were those of the Ismailis, seven in number ending with
Mohammed, son of Ismail, in contradistinction to the twelve Imams of the
Imamias who supported the claims of Ismail's brother Musa; in the fourth
he was told that the prophets preceding the Imams descending from Ali
were also seven in number--namely Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, the
first Mohammed, and finally Mohammed son of Ismail.

So far, then, nothing was said to the initiate in contradiction to the
broad tenets of orthodox Islamism. But with the fifth degree the process
of undermining his religion began, he was now told to reject tradition
and to disregard the precepts of Mohammed; in the sixth he was taught
that all religious observances--prayer, fasting, etc.--were only
emblematic, that in fact all these things were devices to keep the
common herd of men in subordination; in the seventh the doctrines of
Dualism, of a greater and a lesser deity, were introduced and the unity
of God--fundamental doctrine of Islamism--was destroyed; in the eighth a
great vagueness was expressed on the attributes of the first and
greatest of these deities, and it was pointed out that real prophets
were those who concerned themselves with practical matters--political
institutions and good forms of government; finally, in the ninth, the
adept was shown that all religious teaching was allegorical and that
religious precepts need only be observed in so far as it is necessary to
maintain order, but the man who understands the truth may disregard all
such doctrines. Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and the other prophets were
therefore only teachers who had profited by the lessons of philosophy.
All belief in revealed religion was thus destroyed. It will be seen then
that in the last degrees the whole teaching of the first five was
reversed and therefore shown to be a fraud. Fraud in fact constituted
the system of the society; in the instructions to the Dais every
artifice is described for enlisting proselytes by misrepresentation:
Jews were to be won by speaking ill of Christians, Christians by
speaking ill of Jews and Moslems alike, Sunnis by referring with respect
to the orthodox Khalifas Abu Bakr and Omar and criticizing Ali and his
descendants. Above all, care was to be taken not to put before
proselytes doctrines that might revolt them, but to make them advance
step by step. By these means they would be ready to obey any commands.
As the instructions express it:

     If you were to give the order to whoever it might be to take from
     him all that he holds most precious, above all his money, he would
     oppose none of your orders, and if death surprised him he would
     leave you all that he possesses in his will and make you his heir.
     He will think that in the whole world he cannot find a man more
     worthy than you.

Such was the great secret society which was to form the model for the
Illuminati of the eighteenth century, to whom the summary of von Hammer
might with equal truth apply:

     To believe nothing and to dare all was, in two words, the sum of
     this system, which annihilated every principle of religion and
     morality, and had no other object than to execute ambitious designs
     with suitable ministers, who, daring all and knowing nothing, since
     they consider everything a cheat and nothing forbidden, are the
     best tools of an infernal policy. A system which, with no other aim
     than the gratification of an insatiable lust for domination,
     instead of seeking the highest of human objects, precipitates
     itself into the abyss, and mangling itself, is buried amidst the
     ruins of thrones and altars, the wreck of national happiness, and
     the universal execration of mankind.[131]

The Druses

The terrible Grand Lodge of Cairo before long became the centre of a new
and extraordinary cult. Hakim sixth Fatimite Khalifa and founder of the
Dar ul Hikmat--a monster of tyranny and crime whose reign can only be
compared to that of Caligula or Nero--was now raised to the place of a
divinity by one Ismail Darazi, a Turk who in 1016 announced in a mosque
in Cairo that the Khalifa should be made an object of worship. Hakim,
who "believed that divine reason was incarnate in him," four years later
proclaimed himself a deity, and the cult was finally established by one
of his viziers, the Persian mystic Hamza ibn Ali. Hakim's cruelties,
however, had so outraged the people of Egypt that a year later he was
murdered by a band of malcontents, led, it is said, by his sister, who
afterwards concealed his body--a circumstance which gave his followers
the opportunity to declare that the divinity had merely vanished in
order to test the faith of believers, but would reappear in time and
punish apostates. This belief became the doctrine of the Druses of
Lebanon, whom Darazi had won over to the worship of Hakim.

It is unnecessary to enter into the details of this strange religion,
which still persists to-day in the range of Lebanon; suffice it to say
that, although the outcome of the Ismailis, the Druses do not appear to
have embraced the materialism of Abdullah ibn Maymun, but to have
grafted on a primitive form of Nature-worship and of Sabeism the avowed
belief of the Ismailis in the dynasty of Ali and his successors, and
beyond this an abstruse, esoteric creed concerning the nature of the
Supreme Deity. God they declare to be "Universal Reason," who manifests
Himself by a series of "avatars." Hakim was the last of the divine
embodiments, and "when evil and misery have increased to the predestined
height he will again appear, to conquer the world and to make his
religion supreme."

It is, however, as a secret society that the Druses enter into the scope
of this book, for their organization presents several analogies with
that which we now know as "masonic." Instead of the nine degrees
instituted by the Lodge of Cairo, the Druses are divided into only
three--Profanes, Aspirants, and Wise--to whom their doctrines are
gradually unfolded under seal of the strictest secrecy, to ensure which
signs and passwords are employed after the manner of Freemasonry. A
certain degree of duplicity appears to enter into their scheme, much
resembling that enjoined to the Ismaili Dais when enlisting proselytes
belonging to other religions: thus in talking to Mohammedans, the Druses
profess to be followers of the Prophet; with Christians, they pretend to
hold the doctrines of Christianity, an attitude they defend on the score
that it is unlawful to reveal the secret dogmas of their creed to a
"Black," or unbeliever.

The Druses are in the habit of holding meetings where, as in the Dar ul
Hikmat, both men and women assemble and religious and political
questions are discussed; the uninitiated, however, are allowed to
exercise no influence on decisions, which are reached by the inner
circle, to which only the "Wise" are admitted. The resemblance between
this organization and that of Grand Orient Freemasonry is clearly
apparent. The Druses also have modes of recognition which are common to
Freemasonry, and M. Achille Laurent has observed: "The formula or
catechism of the Druses resembles that of the Freemasons; one can learn
it only from the _Akals_ (or Akels = Intelligent, a small group of
higher initiates), who only reveal its mysteries after having subjected
one to tests and made one take terrible oaths."

I shall refer again later in this book to the affinity between the
Druses and Freemasons of the Grand Orient.

The Assassins

It will be seen that the Druses, distinguishing themselves from other
Ismaili sects by their worship of Hakim, yet retaining genuine religious
beliefs, had not carried on the atheistical tradition of Abdullah ibn
Maymun and of the Grand Lodge of Cairo. But this tradition was to
find in 1090 an exponent in the Persian Hasan Saba, a native of
Khorasan, the son of Ali, a strict Shiah, who, finding himself suspected
of heretical ideas, ended by declaring himself a Sunni. Hasan, brought
up in this atmosphere of duplicity, was therefore well fitted to play
the Machiavellian role of an Ismaili Dai.

Von Hammer regards Hasan as a mighty genius, one of a splendid triad,
of which the two others were his schoolfellows the poet Omar Khayyam and
Nizam ul Mulk, Grand Vizier under the Seljuk Sultan, Malik Shah. Hasan,
having through the protection of Nizam ul Mulk secured titles and
revenues and finally risen to office at the Court of the Sultan,
attempted to supplant his benefactor and eventually retired in disgrace,
vowing vengeance against the Sultan and vizier. At this juncture he
encountered several Ismailis, one of whom, a Dai named Mumin, finally
converted him to the principles of his sect, and Hasan, declaring
himself now to be a convinced adherent of the Fatimite Khalifas, journed
to Cairo, where he was received with honour by the Dar ul Hikmat and
also by the Khalifa Mustansir, to whom he became counsellor. But his
intrigues once more involving him in disgrace, he fled to Aleppo and
laid the foundations of his new sect. After enlisting proselytes in
Bagdad, Ispahan, Khusistan, and Damaghan, he succeeded in obtaining by
strategy the fortress of Alamut in Persia on the Caspian Sea, where he
completed the plans for his great secret society which was to become for
ever infamous under the name of the Hashishiyin, or _Assassins_.

Under the pretence of belief in the doctrines of Islam and also of
adherence to the Ismaili line of succession from the Prophet, Hasan Saba
now set out to pave his way to power, and in order to achieve this end
adopted the same method as Abdullah ibn Maymun. But the terrible
efficiency of Hasan's society consisted in the fact that a system of
physical force was now organized in a manner undreamt of by his
predecessor. As von Hammer has observed in an admirable passage:

     Opinions are powerless, so long as they only confuse the brain,
     without arming the hand. Scepticism and free-thinking, as long as
     they occupied only the minds of the indolent and philosophical,
     have caused the ruin of no throne, for which purpose religious and
     political fanaticism are the strongest levers in the hands of
     nations. It is nothing to the ambitious man what people believe,
     but it is everything to know how he may turn them for the execution
     of his projects.[132]

Thus, as in the case of the French Revolution, "whose first movers," von
Hammer also observes, "were the tools or leaders of secret societies,"
it was not mere theory but the method of enlisting numerous dupes and
placing weapons in their hands that brought about the "Terror" of the
Assassins six centuries before that of their spiritual descendants, the
Jacobins of 1793.

Taking as his groundwork the organization of the Grand Lodge of Cairo,
Hasan reduced the nine degrees to their original number of seven, but
these now received a definite nomenclature, and included not only real
initiates but active agents.

Descending downwards, the degrees of the Assassins were thus as follows:
first, the Grand Master, known as the Shaikh-al-Jabal or "Old Man of the
Mountain"--owing to the fact that the Order always possessed itself of
castles in mountainous regions; second, the Dail Kebir or Grand Priors;
third, the fully initiated Dais, religious nuncios and political
emissaries; fourth, the Rafiqs or associates, in training for the higher
degrees; fifth, the Fadais or "devoted," who undertook to deliver the
secret blow on which their superiors had decided; sixth, the Lasiqus, or
law brothers; and lastly the "common people," who were to be simply
blind instruments. If the equivalents to the words "Dai," "Rafiqs," and
"Fadais" given by von Hammer and Dr. Bussell as "Master Masons," "Fellow
Crafts," and "Entered Apprentices" are accepted, an interesting analogy
with the degrees of Freemasonry is provided.

Designs against religion were, of course, not admitted by the Order;
"strict uniformity to Islam was demanded from all the lower rank of
uninitiated, but the _adept_ was taught to see through the deception of
'faith and works.' He believed in nothing and recognized that all acts
or means were indifferent and the (secular) end alone to be

Thus the final object was domination by a few men consumed with the lust
of power "under the cloak of religion and piety," and the method by
which this was to be established was the wholesale assassination of
those who opposed them.

In order to stimulate the energy of the Fadais, who were required to
carry out these crimes, the superiors of the Order had recourse to an
ingenious system of delusion. Throughout the territory occupied by the
Assassins were exquisite gardens with fruit trees, bowers of roses, and
sparkling streams. Here were arranged luxurious resting-places with
Persian carpets and soft divans, around which hovered black-eyed
"houris" bearing wine in gold and silver drinking-vessels, whilst soft
music mingled with the murmuring water and the song of birds. The young
man whom the Assassins desired to train for a career of crime was
introduced to the Grand Master of the Order and intoxicated with
haschisch--hence the name "Hashishiyin" applied to the sect, from
which the word assassin is derived. Under the brief spell of
unconsciousness induced by this seductive drug the prospective Fadai was
then carried into the garden, where on awaking he believed himself to be
in Paradise. After enjoying all its delights he was given a fresh dose
of the opiate, and, once more unconscious, was transported back to the
presence of the Grand Master, who assured him that he had never left his
side but had merely experienced a foretaste of the Paradise that awaited
him if he obeyed the orders of his chiefs. The neophyte, thus spurred on
by the belief that he was carrying out the commands of the Prophet, who
would reward him with eternal bliss, eagerly entered into the schemes
laid down for him and devoted his life to murder. Thus by the lure of
Paradise the Assassins enlisted instruments for their criminal work and
established a system of organized murder on a basis of religious
fervour. "'Nothing is true and all is allowed' was the ground of their
secret doctrine, which, however, being imparted but to few and concealed
under the veil of the most austere religionism and piety, restrained the
mind under the yoke of blind obedience."[134] To the outside world all
this remained a profound mystery; fidelity to Islam was proclaimed as
the fundamental doctrine of the sect, and when the envoy of Sultan Sajar
was sent to collect information on the religious beliefs of the Order he
was met with the assurance: "We believe in the unity of God, and
consider that only as true wisdom which accords with His word and the
commands of the prophet."

Von Hammer, answering the possible contention that, as in the case of
the Templars and the Bavarian Illuminati, these methods of deception
might be declared a calumny on the Order, points out that in the case of
the Assassins no possible doubt existed, for their secret doctrines were
eventually revealed by the leaders themselves, first by Hasan II, the
third successor of Hasan Saba, and later by Jalal-ud-din Hasan, who
publicly anathematized the founders of the sect and ordered the burning
of the books that contained their designs against religion--a proceeding
which, however, appears to have been a strategical manoeuvre for
restoring confidence in the Order and enabling him to continue the work
of subversion and crime. A veritable Reign of Terror was thus
established throughout the East; the Rafiqs and Fadais "spread
themselves in troops over the whole of Asia and darkened the face of the
earth"; and "in the annals of the Assassins is found the chronological
enumeration of celebrated men of all nations who have fallen the victims
of the Ismailis, to the joy of their murderers and the sorrow of the

Inevitably this long and systematic indulgence in blood-lust recoiled on
the heads of the leaders, and the Assassins, like the Terrorists of
France, ended by turning on each other. The Old Man of the Mountain
himself was murdered by his brother-in-law and his son Mohammed;
Mohammed, in his turn, whilst "aiming at the life of his son
Jalal-ud-din, was anticipated by him with poison, which murder was again
avenged by poison," so that from "Hasan the Illuminator" down to the
last of his line the Grand Masters fell by the hands of their
next-of-kin, and "poison and the dagger prepared the grave which the
Order had opened for so many."[136] Finally in 1250 the conquering
hordes of the Mongol Mangu Khan swept away the dynasty of the Assassins.

But, although as reigning powers the Assassins and Fatimites ceased to
exist, the sects from which they derived have continued up to the
present day; still every year at the celebration of the Moharram the
Shiahs beat their breasts and besprinkle themselves with blood, calling
aloud on the martyred heroes Hasan and Husain; the Druses of the Lebanon
still await the return of Hakim, and in that inscrutable East, the
cradle of all the mysteries, the profoundest European adept of secret
society intrigue may find himself outdistanced by pastmasters in the art
in which he believed himself proficient.

The sect of Hasan Saba was the supreme model on which all systems of
organized murder working through fanaticism, such as the Carbonari and
the Irish Republican Brotherhood, were based, and the signs, the
symbols, the initiations, of the Grand Lodge of Cairo formed the
groundwork for the great secret societies of Europe.

How came this system to be transported to the West? By what channel did
the ideas of these succeeding Eastern sects penetrate to the Christian
world? In order to answer this question we must turn to the history of
the Crusades.



In the year 1118--nineteen years after the first crusade had ended with
the defeat of the Moslems, the capture of Antioch and Jerusalem, and the
instalment of Godefroi de Bouillon as king of the latter city--a band of
nine French _gentilshommes_, led by Hugues de Payens and Godefroi de
Saint-Omer, formed themselves into an Order for the protection of
pilgrims to the Holy Sepulchre. Baldwin II, who at this moment succeeded
to the throne of Jerusalem, presented them with a house near the site of
the Temple of Solomon--hence the name of Knights Templar under which
they were to become famous. In 1128 the Order was sanctioned by the
Council of Troyes and by the Pope, and a rule was drawn up by St.
Bernard under which the Knights Templar were bound by the vows of
poverty, chastity, and obedience.

But although the Templars distinguished themselves by many deeds of
valour, the regulation that they were to live solely on alms led to
donations so enormous that, abandoning their vow of poverty, they spread
themselves over Europe, and by the end of the twelfth century had become
a rich and powerful body. The motto that the Order had inscribed upon
its banner, "_Non nobis, Domine, sed nomini tuo da gloriam_," was
likewise forgotten, for, their faith waxing cold, they gave themselves
up to pride and ostentation. Thus, as an eighteenth-century masonic
writer has expressed it:

     The war, which for the greater number of warriors of good faith
     proved the source of weariness, of losses and misfortunes, became
     for them (the Templars) only the opportunity for booty and
     aggrandizement, and if they distinguished themselves by a few
     brilliant actions, their motive soon ceased to be a matter of doubt
     when they were seen to enrich themselves even with the spoils of
     the confederates, to increase their credit by the extent of the new
     possessions they had acquired, to carry arrogance to the point of
     rivalling crowned princes in pomp and grandeur, to refuse their aid
     against the enemies of the faith, as the history of Saladin
     testifies, and finally to ally themselves with that horrible and
     sanguinary prince named the Old Man of the Mountain, Prince of the

The truth of the last accusation is, however, open to question. For a
time, at any rate, the Templars had been at war with the Assassins. When
in 1152 the Assassins murdered Raymond, Comte de Tripoli, the Templars
entered their territory and forced them to sign a treaty by which they
were to pay a yearly tribute of 12,000 gold pieces in expiation of the
crime. Some years later the Old Man of the Mountain sent an ambassador
to Amaury, King of Jerusalem, to tell him privately that if the Templars
would forgo the payment of this tribute he and his followers would
embrace the Christian faith. Amaury accepted, offering at the same time
to compensate the Templars, but some of the Knights assassinated the
ambassador before he could return to his master. When asked for
reparations the Grand Master threw the blame on an evil one-eyed Knight
named Gautier de Maisnil.[138]

It is evident, therefore, that the relations between the Templars and
the Assassins were at first far from amicable; nevertheless, it appears
probable that later on an understanding was brought about between them.
Both on this charge and on that of treachery towards the Christian
armies, Dr. Bussell's impartial view of the question may be quoted:

     When in 1149 the Emperor Conrad III failed before Damascus, the
     Templars were believed to have a secret understanding with the
     garrison of that city; ... in 1154 they were said to have sold, for
     60,000 gold pieces, a prince of Egypt who had wished to become a
     Christian; he was taken home to suffer certain death at the hands
     of his fanatical family. In 1166 Amaury, King of Jerusalem, hanged
     twelve members of the Order for betraying a fortress to Nureddin.

And Dr. Bussell goes on to say that it cannot be disputed that they had
"long and important dealings" with the Assassins "and were therefore
suspected (not unfairly) of imbibing their precepts and following their

By the end of the thirteenth century the Templars had become suspect,
not only in the eyes of the clergy, but of the general public. "Amongst
the common people," one of their latest apologists admits, "vague
rumours circulated. They talked of the covetousness and want of scruple
of the Knights, of their passion for aggrandizement and their rapacity.
Their haughty insolence was proverbial. Drinking habits were attributed
to them; the saying was already in use 'to drink like a Templar.' The
old German word _Tempelhaus_ indicated a house of ill-fame."[140]

The same rumours had reached Clement V even before his accession to the
papal throne in 1305,[141] and in this same year he summoned the Grand
Master of the Order, Jacques du Molay, to return to France from the
island of Cyprus, where he was assembling fresh forces to avenge the
recent reverses of the Christian armies.

Du Molay arrived in France with sixty other Knights Templar and 150,000
gold florins, as well as a large quantity of silver that the Order had
amassed in the East.[142]

The Pope now set himself to make enquiries concerning the charges of
"unspeakable apostasy against God, detestable idolatry, execrable vice,
and many heresies" that had been "secretly intimated" to him. But, to
quote his own words:

     Because it did not seem likely nor credible that men of such
     religion who were believed often to shed their blood and frequently
     expose their persons to the peril of death for Christ's name, and
     who showed such great and many signs of devotion both in divine
     offices as well as in fasts, as in other devotional observances,
     should be so forgetful of their salvation as to do these things, we
     were unwilling ... to give ear to this kind of insinuation ...
     (_hujusmodi insinuacioni ac delacioni ipsorum ... aurem noluimus

The King of France, Philippe le Bel, who had hitherto been the friend of
the Templars, now became alarmed and urged the Pope to take action
against them; but before the Pope was able to find out more about the
matter, the King took the law into his own hands and had all the
Templars in France arrested on October 13, 1307. The following charges
were then brought against them by the Inquisitor for France before whom
they were examined:

     1. The ceremony of initiation into their Order was accompanied by
        insults to the Cross, the denial of Christ, and gross obscenities.

     2. The adoration of an idol which was said to be the image of the
        true God.

     3. The omission of the words of consecration at Mass.

     4. The right that the lay chiefs arrogated to themselves of giving

     5. The authorization of unnatural vice.

To all these infamies a great number of the Knights, including Jacques
du Molay, confessed in almost precisely the same terms; at their
admission into the Order, they said, they had been shown the cross on
which was the figure of Christ, and had been asked whether they believed
in Him; when they answered yes, they were told in some cases that this
was wrong (_dixit sibi quod male credebat_),[144] because He was not
God, He was a false prophet (_quia falsus propheta erat, nec erat
Deus_).[145] Some added that they were then shown an idol or a bearded
head which they were told to worship[146]; one added that this was of
such "a terrible aspect that it seemed to him to be the face of some
devil, called in French _un maufe_, and that whenever he saw it he was
so overcome with fear that he could hardly look at it without fear and
trembling."[147] All who confessed declared that they had been ordered
to spit on the crucifix, and very many that they had received the
injunction to commit obscenities and to practise unnatural vice. Some
said that on their refusal to carry out these orders they had been
threatened with imprisonment, even perpetual imprisonment; a few said
they had actually been incarcerated[148]; one declared that he had been
terrorized, seized by the throat, and threatened with death.[149]

Since, however, a number of these confessions were made under torture,
it is more important to consider the evidence provided by the trial of
the Knights at the hands of the Pope, where this method was not

Now, at the time the Templars were arrested, Clement V., deeply
resenting the King's interference with an Order which existed entirely
under papal jurisdiction, wrote in the strongest terms of remonstrance
to Philippe le Bel urging their release, and even after their trial,
neither the confessions of the Knights nor the angry expostulations of
the King could persuade him to believe in their guilt.[150] But as the
scandal concerning the Templars was increasing, he consented to receive
in private audience "a certain Knight of the Order, of great nobility
and held by the said Order in no slight esteem," who testified to the
abominations that took place on the reception of the Brethren, the
spitting on the cross, and other things which were not lawful nor,
humanly speaking, decent.[151]

The Pope then decided to hold an examination of seventy-two French
Knights at Poictiers in order to discover whether the confessions made
by them before the Inquisitor at Paris could be substantiated, and at
this examination, conducted without torture or pressure of any kind in
the presence of the Pope himself, the witnesses declared on oath that
they would tell "the full and pure truth." They then made confessions
which were committed to writing in their presence, and these being
afterwards read aloud to them, they expressly and willingly approved
them (_perseverantes in illis eas expresse et sponte, prout recitate
fuerunt approbarunt_).[152]

Besides this, an examination of the Grand Master, Jacques du Molay, and
the Preceptors of the Order was held in the presence of "three Cardinals
and four public notaries and many other good men." These witnesses, says
the official report, "having sworn with their hands on the Gospel of
God" (_ad sancta dei evangelia ab iis corporaliter tacta_) that--

     they would on all the aforesaid things speak the pure and full
     truth, they, separately, freely, and spontaneously, without any
     coercion and fear, deposed and confessed among other things, the
     denial of Christ and spitting upon the cross when they were
     received into the Order of the Temple. And some of them (deposed
     and confessed) that under the same form, namely, with denial of
     Christ and spitting on the cross, they had received many Brothers
     into the Order. Some of them too confessed certain other horrible
     and disgusting things on which we are silent.... Besides this, they
     said and confessed that those things which are contained in the
     confessions and depositions of heretical depravity which they made
     lately before the Inquisitor (of Paris) were true.

Their confessions, being again committed to writing, were approved by
the witnesses, who then with bended knees and many tears asked for and
obtained absolution.[153]

The Pope, however, still refused to take action against the whole Order
merely because the Master and Brethren around him had "gravely sinned,"
and it was decided to hold a papal commission in Paris. The first
sitting took place in November 1309, when the Grand Master and 231
Knights were summoned before the pontifical commissioners. "This
enquiry," says Michelet, "was conducted slowly, with much consideration
and gentleness (_avec beaucoup de menagement et de douceur_) by high
ecclesiastical dignitaries, an archbishop, several bishops, etc."[154]
But although a number of the Knights, including the Grand Master, now
retracted their admissions, some damning confessions were again

It is impossible within the scope of this book to follow the many trials
of the Templars that took place in different countries--in Italy, at
Ravenna, Pisa, Bologna, and Florence, where torture was not employed and
blasphemies were admitted,[155] or in Germany, where torture was
employed but no confessions were made and a verdict was given in favour
of the Order. A few details concerning the trial in England may,
however, be of interest.

It has generally been held that torture was not applied in England owing
to the humanity of Edward II, who at first absolutely refused to listen
to any accusations against the Order.[156] On December 10, 1307, he had
written to the Pope in these terms:

     And because the said Master or Brethren constant in the purity of
     the Catholic faith have been frequently commended by us, and by all
     our kingdom, both in their life and morals, we are unable to
     believe in suspicious stories of this kind until we know with
     greater certainty about these things.

     We, therefore, pity from our souls the suffering and losses of the
     Sd. Master and brethren, which they suffer in consequence of such
     infamy, and we supplicate most affectionately your Sanctity if it
     please you, that considering with favour suited to the good
     character of the Master and brethren, you may deem fit to meet with
     more indulgence the detractions, calumnies and charges by certain
     envious and evil disposed persons, who endeavour to turn their good
     deeds into works of perverseness opposed to divine teaching; until
     the said charges attributed to them shall have been brought legally
     before you or your representatives here and more fully proved.[157]

Edward II also wrote in the same terms to the Kings of Portugal,
Castile, Aragon, and Sicily. But two years later, after Clement V had
himself heard the confessions of the Order, and a Papal Bull had been
issued declaring that "the unspeakable wickednesses and abominable
crimes of notorious heresy" had now "come to the knowledge of almost
everyone," Edward II was persuaded to arrest the Templars and order
their examination. According to Mr. Castle, whose interesting treatise
we quote here, the King would not allow torture to be employed, with the
result that the Knights denied all charges; but later, it is said, he
allowed himself to be overpersuaded, and "torture appears to have been
applied on one or two occasions,"[158] with the result that three
Knights confessed to all and were given absolution.[159] At Southwark,
however, "a considerable number of brethren" admitted that "they had
been strongly accused of the crimes of negation and spitting, they did
not say they were guilty but that they could not purge themselves ...
and therefore they abjured these and all other heresies."[160] Evidence
was also given against the Order by outside witnesses, and the same
stories of intimidation at the ceremony of reception were told.[161] At
any rate, the result of the investigation was not altogether
satisfactory, and the Templars were finally suppressed in England as
elsewhere by the Council of Vienne in 1312.

In France more rigorous measures were adopted and fifty-four Knights who
had retracted their confessions were burnt at the stake as "relapsed
heretics" on May 12, 1310. Four years later, on March 14, 1314, the
Grand Master, Jacques du Molay, suffered the same fate.

Now, however much we must execrate the barbarity of this sentence--as
also the cruelties that had preceded it--- this is no reason why we
should admit the claim of the Order to noble martyrdom put forward by
the historians who have espoused their cause. The character of the
Templars is not rehabilitated by condemning the conduct of the King and
Pope. Yet this is the line of argument usually adopted by the defenders
of the Order. Thus the two main contentions on which they base their
defence are, firstly, that the confessions of the Knights were made
under torture, therefore they must be regarded as null and void; and,
secondly, that the whole affair was a plot concerted between the King
and Pope in order to obtain possession of the Templars' riches. Let us
examine these contentions in turn.

In the first place, as we have seen, all confessions were not made under
torture. No one, as far as I am aware, disputes Michelet's assertion
that the enquiry before the Papal Commission in Paris, at which a number
of Knights adhered to the statements they had made to the Pope, was
conducted without pressure of any kind. But further, the fact that
confessions are made under torture does not necessarily invalidate them
as evidence. Guy Fawkes also confessed under torture, yet it is never
suggested that the whole story of the Gunpowder Plot was a myth.
Torture, however much we may condemn it, has frequently proved the only
method for overcoming the intimidation exercised over the mind of a
conspirator; a man bound by the terrible obligations of a confederacy
and fearing the vengeance of his fellow-conspirators will not readily
yield to persuasion, but only to force. If, then, some of the Templars
were terrorized by torture, or even by the fear of torture, it must not
be forgotten that terrorism was exercised by both sides. Few will deny
that the Knights were bound by oaths of secrecy, so that on one hand
they were threatened with the vengeance of the Order if they betrayed
its secrets, and on the other faced with torture if they refused to
confess. Thus they found themselves between the devil and the deep sea.
It was therefore not a case of a mild and unoffending Order meeting
with brutal treatment at the hands of authority, but of the victims of a
terrible autocracy being delivered into the hands of another autocracy.

Moreover, do the confessions of the Knights appear to be the outcome of
pure imagination such as men under the influence of torture might
devise? It is certainly difficult to believe that the accounts of the
ceremony of initiation given in detail by men in different countries,
all closely resembling each other, yet related in different phraseology,
could be pure inventions. Had the victims been driven to invent they
would surely have contradicted each other, have cried out in their agony
that all kinds of wild and fantastic rites had taken place in order to
satisfy the demands of their interlocutors. But no, each appears to be
describing the same ceremony more or less completely, with
characteristic touches that indicate the personality of the speaker, and
in the main all the stories tally.

The further contention that the case against the Templars was
manufactured by the King and Pope with a view to obtaining their wealth
is entirely disproved by facts. The latest French historian of mediaeval
France, whilst expressing disbelief in the guilt of the Templars,
characterizes this counter-accusation as "puerile." "Philippe le Bel,"
writes M. Funck-Brentano, "has never been understood; from the beginning
people have not been just to him. This young prince was one of the
greatest kings and the noblest characters that have appeared in

Without carrying appreciation so far, one must nevertheless accord to M.
Funck-Brentano's statement of facts the attention it merits. Philippe
has been blamed for debasing the coin of the realm; in reality he merely
ordered it to be mixed with alloy as a necessary measure after the war
with England,[163] precisely as own coinage was debased in consequence
of the recent war. This was done quite openly and the coinage was
restored at the earliest opportunity. Intensely national, his policy of
attacking the Lombards, exiling the Jews, and suppressing the Templars,
however regrettable the methods by which it was carried out, resulted in
immense benefits to France; M. Funck-Brentano has graphically described
the prosperity of the whole country during the early fourteenth
century--the increase of population, flourishing agriculture and
industry. "In Provence and Languedoc one meets swineherds who have
vineyards; simple cowherds who have town houses."[164]

The attitude of Philippe le Bel towards the Templars must be viewed in
this light--ruthless suppression of any body of people who interfered
with the prosperity of France. His action was not that of arbitrary
authority; he "proceeded," says M. Funck-Brentano, "by means of an
appeal to the people. In his name Nogaret (the Chancellor) spoke to the
Parisians in the garden of the Palace (October 13, 1307). Popular
assemblies were convoked all over France";[165] "the Parliament of
Tours, with hardly a dissentient vote, declared the Templars worthy of
death. The University of Paris gave the weight of their judgement as to
the fullness and authenticity of the confessions."[166] Even assuming
that these bodies were actuated by the same servility as that which has
been attributed to the Pope, how are we to explain the fact that the
trial of the Order aroused no opposition among the far from docile
people of Paris? If the Templars had indeed, as they professed, been
leading noble and upright lives, devoting themselves to the care of the
poor, one might surely expect their arrest to be followed by popular
risings. But there appears to have been no sign of this.

As to the Pope, we have already seen that from the outset he had shown
himself extremely reluctant to condemn the Order, and no satisfactory
explanation is given of his change of attitude except that he wished to
please the King. As far as his own interests were concerned, it is
obvious that he could have nothing to gain by publishing to the world a
scandal that must inevitably bring opprobrium on the Church. His
lamentations to this effect in the famous Bull[167] clearly show that he
recognized this danger and therefore desired at all costs to clear the
accused Knights, if evidence could be obtained in their favour. It was
only when the Templars made damning admissions in his presence that he
was obliged to abandon their defence.[168] Yet we are told that he did
this out of base compliance with the wishes of Philippe le Bel.

Philippe le Bell is thus represented as the arch-villain of the whole
piece, through seven long years hounding down a blameless Order--from
whom up to the very moment of their arrest he had repeatedly received
loans of money--solely with the object of appropriating their wealth.
Yet after all we find that the property of the Templars was not
appropriated by the King, but was given by him to the Knights of St.
John of Jerusalem!

     What was the fate of the Templars' goods? Philippe le Bel decided
     that they should be handed over to the Hospitallers. Clement V
     states that the Orders given by the King on this subject were
     executed. Even the domain of the Temple in Paris ... up to the eve
     of the Revolution was the property of the Knights of St. John of
     Jerusalem. The royal treasury kept for itself certain sums for the
     costs of the trial. These had been immense.[169]

These facts in no way daunt the antagonists of Philippe, who we are now
assured--again without any proof whatever--was overruled by the Pope in
this matter. But setting all morality aside, as a mere question of
policy, is it likely that the King would have deprived himself of his
most valuable financial supporters and gone to the immense trouble of
bringing them to trial without first assuring himself that he would
benefit by the affair? Would he, in other words, have killed the goose
that laid the golden eggs without any guarantee that the body of the
goose would remain in his possession? Again, if, as we are told, the
Pope suppressed the Order so as to please the King, why should he have
thwarted him over the whole purpose the King had in view? Might we not
expect indignant remonstrances from Philippe at thus being baulked of
the booty he had toiled so long to gain? But, on the contrary, we find
him completely in agreement with the Pope on this subject. In November
1309 Clement V distinctly stated that "Philippe the Illustrious, King of
France," to whom the facts concerning the Templars had been told, was
"not prompted by avarice since he desired to keep or appropriate for
himself no part of the property of the Templars, but liberally and
devotedly left them to us and the Church to be administered," etc.[170]

Thus the whole theory concerning the object for which the Templars were
suppressed falls to the ground--a theory which on examination is seen to
be built up entirely on the plan of imputing motives without any
justification in facts. The King acted from cupidity, the Pope from
servility, and the Templars confessed from fear of torture--on these
pure hypotheses defenders of the Order base their arguments.

The truth is, far more probably, that if the King had any additional
reason for suppressing the Templars it was not envy of their wealth but
fear of the immense power their wealth conferred; the Order dared even
to defy the King and to refuse to pay taxes. The Temple in fact
constituted an _imperium in imperio_ that threatened not only the royal
authority but the whole social system.[171] An important light is thrown
on the situation by M. Funck-Brentano in this passage:

     As the Templars had houses in all countries, they practised the
     financial operations of the international banks of our times; they
     were acquainted with letters of change, orders payable at sight,
     they instituted dividends and annuities on deposited capital,
     advanced funds, lent on credit, controlled private accounts,
     undertook to raise taxes for the lay and ecclesiastical

Through their proficiency in these matters--acquired very possibly from
the Jews of Alexandria whom they must have met in the East--the Templars
had become the "international financiers" and "international
capitalists" of their day; had they not been suppressed, all the evils
now denounced by Socialists as peculiar to the system they describe as
"Capitalism"--trusts, monopolies, and "corners"--would in all
probability have been inaugurated during the course of the fourteenth
century in a far worse form than at the present day, since no
legislation existed to protect the community at large. The feudal
system, as Marx and Engels perceived, was the principal obstacle to
exploitation by a financial autocracy.[173]

Moreover, it is by no means improbable that this order of things would
have been brought about by the violent overthrow of the French
monarchy--indeed, of all monarchies; the Templars, "those terrible
conspirators," says Eliphas Levi, "threatened the whole world with an
immense revolution."[174]

Here perhaps we may find the reason why this band of dissolute and
rapacious nobles has enlisted the passionate sympathy of democratic
writers. For it will be noticed that these same writers who attribute
the King's condemnation of the Order to envy of their wealth never apply
this argument to the demagogues of the eighteenth century and suggest
that their accusations against the nobles of France were inspired by
cupidity, nor would they ever admit that any such motive may enter into
the diatribes against private owners of wealth to-day. The Templars thus
remain the only body of capitalists, with the exception of the Jews, to
be not only pardoned for their riches but exalted as noble victims of
prejudice and envy. Is it merely because the Templars were the enemies
of monarchy? Or is it that the world revolution, whilst attacking
private owners of property, has never been opposed to International
Finance, particularly when combined with anti-Christian tendencies?

It is the continued defence of the Templars which, to the present
writer, appears the most convincing evidence against them. For even if
one believes them innocent of the crimes laid to their charge, how is it
possible to admire them in their later stages? The fact that cannot be
denied is that they were false to their obligations; that they took the
vow of poverty and then grew not only rich but arrogant; that they took
the vow of chastity and became notoriously immoral.[175] Are all these
things then condoned because the Templars formed a link in the chain of
world revolution?

At this distance of time the guilt or innocence of the Templars will
probably never be conclusively established either way; on the mass of
conflicting evidence bequeathed to us by history no one can pronounce a
final judgement.

Without attempting to digmatize on the question, I would suggest that
the real truth may be that the Knights were both innocent and guilty,
that is to say, that a certain number were initiated into the secret
doctrine of the Order whilst the majority remained throughout in
ignorance. Thus according to the evidence of Stephen de Stapelbrugge, an
English Knight, "there were two modes of reception, one lawful and good
and the other contrary to the Faith."[176] This would account for the
fact that some of the accused declined to confess even under the
greatest pressure. These may really have known nothing of the real
doctrines of the Order, which were confided orally only to those whom
the superiors regarded as unlikely to be revolted by them. Such have
always been the methods of secret societies, from the Ismailis onward.

This theory of a double doctrine is put forward by Loiseleur, who

     If we consult the statutes of the Order of the Temple as they have
     come down to us, we shall certainly discover there is nothing that
     justifies the strange and abominable practices revealed at the
     Inquiry. But ... besides the public rule, had not the Order another
     one, whether traditional or written, authorizing or even
     prescribing these practices--a secret rule, revealed only to the

Eliphas Levi also exonerates the majority of the Templars from
complicity in either anti-monarchical or anti-religious designs:

     These tendencies were enveloped in profound mystery and the Order
     made an outward profession of the most perfect orthodoxy. The
     Chiefs alone knew whither they were going; the rest followed

What, then, was the Templar heresy? On this point we find a variety of
opinions. According to Wilcke, Ranke, and Weber it was "the unitarian
deism of Islam"[179]; Lecouteulx de Canteleu thinks, however, it was
derived from heretical Islamic sources, and relates that whilst in
Palestine, one of the Knights, Guillaume de Montbard, was initiated by
the Old Man of the Mountain in a cave of Mount Lebanon.[180] That a
certain resemblance existed between the Templars and the Assassins has
been indicated by von Hammer,[181] and further emphasized by the
Freemason Clavel:

     Oriental historians show us, at different periods, the Order of the
     Templars maintaining intimate relations with that of the Assassins,
     and they insist on the affinity that existed between the two
     associations. They remark that they had adopted the same colours,
     white and red; that they had the same organization, the same
     hierarchy of degrees, those of fedavi, refik, and dai in one
     corresponding to those of novice, professed, and knight in the
     other; that both conspired for the ruin of the religions they
     professed in public, and that finally both possessed numerous
     castles, the former in Asia, the latter in Europe.[182]

But in spite of these outward resemblances it does not appear from the
confessions of the Knights that the secret doctrine of the Templars was
that of the Assassins or of any Ismaili sect by which, in accordance
with orthodox Islamism, Jesus was openly held up as a prophet, although,
secretly, indifference to all religion was inculcated. The Templars, as
far as can be discovered, were anti-Christian deists; Loiseleur
considers that their ideas were derived from Gnostic or Manichean
dualists--Cathari, Paulicians, or more particularly Bogomils, of which a
brief account must be given here.

The _Paulicians_, who flourished about the seventh century A.D., bore a
resemblance to the Cainites and Ophites in their detestation of the
Demiurgus and in the corruption of their morals. Later, in the ninth
century, the _Bogomils_, whose name signifies in Slavonic "friends of
God" and who had migrated from Northern Syria and Mesopotamia to the
Balkan Peninsula, particularly Thrace, appeared as a further development
of Manichean dualism. Their doctrine may be summarized thus:

God, the Supreme Father, has two sons, the elder Satanael, the younger
Jesus. To Satanael, who sat on the right hand of God, belonged the right
of governing the celestial world, but, filled with pride, he rebelled
against his Father and fell from Heaven. Then, aided by the companions
of his fall, he created the visible world, image of the celestial,
having like the other its sun, moon, and stars, and last he created man
and the serpent which became his minister. Later Christ came to earth in
order to show men the way to Heaven, but His death was ineffectual, for
even by descending into Hell He could not wrest the power from Satanael,
i.e. Satan.

This belief in the impotence of Christ and the necessity therefore for
placating Satan, not only "the Prince of this world," but its creator,
led to the further doctrine that Satan, being all-powerful, should be
adored. Nicetas Choniates, a Byzantine historian of the twelfth century,
described the followers of this cult as "Satanists," because
"considering Satan powerful they worshipped him lest he might do them
harm"; subsequently they were known as Luciferians, their doctrine (as
stated by Neuss and Vitoduranus) being that Lucifer was unjustly driven
out of Heaven, that one day he will ascend there again and be restored
to his former glory and power in the celestial world.

The Bogomils and Luciferians were thus closely akin, but whilst the
former divided their worship between God and His two sons, the latter
worshipped Lucifer only, regarding the material world as his work and
holding that by indulging the flesh they were propitiating their
Demon-Creator. It was said that a black cat, the symbol of Satan,
figured in their ceremonies as an object of worship, also that at their
horrible nocturnal orgies sacrifices of children were made and their
blood used for making the Eucharistic bread of the sect.[183]

     Thus the Templars recognize at the same time a good god,
     incommunicable to man and consequently without symbolic
     representation, and a bad god, to whom they give the features of an
     idol of fearful aspect.[184]

Their most fervent worship was addressed to this god of evil, who alone
could enrich them. "They said with the Luciferians: 'The elder son of
God, Satanael or Lucifer alone has a right to the homage of mortals;
Jesus his younger brother does not deserve this honour.'"[185]

Although we shall not find these ideas so clearly defined in the
confessions of the Knights, some colour is lent to this theory by those
who related that the reason given to them for not believing in Christ
was "that He was nothing, He was a false prophet and of no value, and
that they should believe in the Higher God of Heaven who could save
them."[186] According to Loiseleur, the idol they were taught to
worship, the bearded head known to history as Baphomet, represented "the
inferior god, organizer and dominator of the material world, author of
good and evil here below, him by whom evil was introduced into

The etymology of the word Baphomet is difficult to discover; Raynouard
says it originated with two witnesses heard at Carcassonne who spoke of
"Figura Baflometi," and suggests that it was a corruption of "Mohammed,"
whom the Inquisitors wished to make the Knights confess they were taught
to adore.[188] But this surmise with regard to the intentions of the
Inquisitors seems highly improbable, since they must have been well
aware that, as Wilcke points out, the Moslems forbid all idols.[189] For
this reason Wilcke concludes that the Mohammedanism of the Templars was
combined with Cabalism and that their idol was in reality the
_macroprosopos_, or head of the Ancient of Ancients, represented as an
old man with a long beard, or sometimes as three heads in one, which has
already been referred to under the name of the Long Face in the first
chapter of this book--a theory which would agree with Eliphas Levi's
assertion that the Templars were "initiated into the mysterious
doctrines of the Cabala."[190] But Levi goes on to define this teaching
under the name of Johannism. It is here that we reach a further theory
with regard to the secret doctrine of the Templars--- the most important
of all, since it emanates from masonic and neo-Templar sources thus
effectually disposing of the contention that the charge brought against
the Order of apostasy from the Catholic faith is solely the invention of
Catholic writers.

In 1842 the Freemason Ragon related that the Templars learnt from the
"initiates of the East" a certain Judaic doctrine which was attributed
to St. John the Apostle; therefore "they renounced the religion of St.
Peter" and became Johannites.[191] Eliphas Levi expresses the same

Now, these statements are apparently founded on a legend which was first
published early in the nineteenth century, when an association calling
itself the _Ordre du Temple_ and claiming direct descent from the
original Templar Order published two works, the _Manuel des Chevaliers
de l'Ordre du Temple_ in 1811, and the _Levitikon_ in 1831, together
with a version of the Gospel of St. John differing from the Vulgate.
These books, which appear to have been printed only for private
circulation amongst the members and are now extremely rare, relate that
the Order of the Temple had never ceased to exist since the days of
Jacques du Molay, who appointed Jacques de Larmenie his successor in
office, and from that time onwards a line of Grand Masters had succeeded
each other without a break up to the end of the eighteenth century, when
it ceased for a brief period but was reinstituted under a new Grand
Master, Fabre Palaprat, in 1804. Besides publishing the list of all
Grand Masters, known as the "Charter of Larmenius," said to have been
preserved in the secret archives of the Temple, these works also
reproduce another document drawn from the same repository describing the
origins of the Order. This manuscript, written in Greek on parchment,
dated 1154, purports to be partly taken from a fifth-century MS. and
relates that Hugues de Payens, first Grand Master of the Templars, was
initiated in 1118--that is to say, in the year the Order was
founded--into the religious doctrine of "the Primitive Christian Church"
by its Sovereign Pontiff and Patriarch, Theoclet, sixtieth in direct
succession from St. John the Apostle. The history of the Primitive
Church is then given as follows:

     Moses was initiated in Egypt. Profoundly versed in the physical,
     theological, and metaphysical mysteries of the priests, he knew how
     to profit by these so as to surmount the power of the Mages and
     deliver his companions. Aaron, his brother, and the chiefs of the
     Hebrews became the depositaries of his doctrine....

     The Son of God afterwards appeared on the scene of the world.... He
     was brought up at the school of Alexandria.... Imbued with a spirit
     wholly divine, endowed with the most astounding qualities
     (_dispositions_), he was able to reach all the degrees of Egyptian
     initiation. On his return to Jerusalem, he presented himself before
     the chiefs of the Synagogue.... Jesus Christ, directing the fruit
     of his lofty meditations towards universal civilization and the
     happiness of the world, rent the veil which concealed the truth
     from the peoples. He preached the love of God, the love of one's
     neighbour, and equality before the common Father of all men....

     Jesus conferred evangelical initiation on his apostles and
     disciples. He transmitted his spirit to them, divided them into
     several orders after the practice of John, the beloved disciple,
     the apostle of fraternal love, whom he had instituted Sovereign
     Pontiff and Patriarch....

Here we have the whole Cabalistic legend of a secret doctrine descending
from Moses, of Christ as an Egyptian initiate and founder of a secret
order--a theory, of course, absolutely destructive of belief in His
divinity. The legend of the _Ordre du Temple_ goes on to say:

     Up to about the year 1118 (i.e. the year the Order of the Temple
     was founded) the mysteries and the hierarchic Order of the
     initiation of Egypt, transmitted to the Jews by Moses, then to the
     Christians by J.C., were religiously preserved by the successors of
     St. John the Apostle. These mysteries and initiations, regenerated
     by the evangelical initiation (or baptism), were a sacred trust
     which the simplicity of the primitive and unchanging morality of
     the _Brothers of the East_ had preserved from all adulteration....

     The Christians, persecuted by the infidels, appreciating the
     courage and piety of these brave crusaders, who, with the sword in
     one hand and the cross in the other, flew to the defence of the
     holy places, and, above all, doing striking justice to the virtues
     and the ardent charity of Hugues de Payens, held it their duty to
     confide to hands so pure the treasures of knowledge acquired
     throughout so many centuries, sanctified by the cross, the dogma
     and the morality of the Man-God. Hugues was invested with the
     Apostolic Patriarchal power and placed in the legitimate order of
     the successors of St. John the apostle or the evangelist.

     Such is the origin of the foundation of the Order of the Temple and
     of the fusion in this Order of the different kinds of initiation of
     the Christians of the East designated under the title of Primitive
     Christians or Johannites.

It will be seen at once that all this story is subtly subversive of true
Christianity, and that the appellation of Christians applied to the
Johannites is an imposture. Indeed Fabre Palaprat, Grand Master of the
_Ordre du Temple_ in 1804, who in his book on the Templars repeats the
story contained in the _Levitikon and the Manuel des Chevaliers du
Temple_, whilst making the same profession of "primitive Christian"
doctrines descending from St. John through Theoclet and Hugues de Payens
to the Order over which he presides, goes on to say that the secret
doctrine of the Templars "was essentially contrary to the canons of the
Church of Rome and that it is principally to this fact that one must
attribute the persecution of which history has preserved the memory."[192]
The belief of the Primitive Christians, and consequently that the
Templars, with regard to the miracles of Christ is that He "did or may
have done extraordinary or miraculous things," and that since "God can
do things incomprehensible to human intelligence," the Primitive Church
venerates "all the acts of Christ as they are described in the Gospel,
whether it considers them as acts of human science or whether as acts of
divine power."[193] Belief in the divinity of Christ is thus left an
open question, and the same attitude is maintained towards the
Resurrection, of which the story is omitted in the Gospel of St. John
possessed by the Order. Fabre Palaprat further admits that the gravest
accusations brought against the Templars were founded on facts which he
attempts to explain away in the following manner:

     The Templars having in 1307 carefully abstracted all the
     manuscripts composing the secret archives of the Order from the
     search made by authority, and these authentic manuscripts having
     been preciously preserved since that period, we have to-day the
     certainty that the Knights endured a great number of religious and
     moral trials before reaching the different degrees of initiation:
     thus, for example, the recipient might receive the injunction under
     pain of death to trample on the crucifix or to worship an idol, but
     if he yielded to the terror which they sought to inspire in him he
     was declared unworthy of being admitted to the higher grades of the
     Order. One can imagine in this way how beings, too feeble or too
     immoral to endure the trials of initiation, may have accused the
     Templars of giving themselves up to infamous practices and of
     having superstitious beliefs.

It is certainly not surprising that an Order which gave such injunctions
as these, for whatever purpose, should have become the object of

Eliphas Levi, who, like Ragon, accepts the statements of the _Ordre du
Temple_ concerning the "Johannite" origin of the Templars' secret
doctrine, is, however, not deceived by these professions of
Christianity, and boldly asserts that the Sovereign Pontiff Theoclet
initiated Hugues de Payens "into the mysteries and hopes of his
pretended Church, he lured him by the ideas of sacerdotal sovereignty
and supreme royalty, he indicated him finally as his successor. So the
Order of the Knights of the Temple was stained from its origin with
schism and conspiracy against Kings."[194] Further, Levi relates that
the real story told to initiates concerning Christ was no other than the
infamous _Toledot Yeshu_ described in the first chapter of this book,
and which the Johannites dared to attribute to St. John.[195] This would
accord with the confession of the Catalonian Knight Templar, Galcerandus
de Teus, who stated that the form of absolution in the Order was: "I
pray God that He may pardon your sins as He pardoned St. Mary Magdalene
and the thief on the cross"; but the witness went on to explain:

     By the thief of which the head of the Chapter speaks, is meant,
     according to our statutes, that Jesus or Christ who was crucified
     by the Jews because he was not God, and yet he said he was God and
     the King of the Jews, which was an outrage to the true God who is
     in Heaven. When Jesus, a few moments before his death, had his side
     pierced by the lance of Longinus, he repented of having called
     himself God and King of the Jews and he asked pardon of the true
     God; then the true God pardoned him. It is thus that we apply to
     the crucified Christ these words: "as God pardoned the thief on the

Raynouard, who quotes this deposition, stigmatizes it as "singular and
extravagant"; M. Matter agrees that it is doubtless extravagant, but
that "it merits attention. There was a whole system there, which was not
the invention of Galcerant."[197] Eliphas Levi provides the clue to that
system and to the reason why Christ was described as a thief, by
indicating the Cabalistic legend wherein He was described as having
_stolen_ the sacred Name from the Holy of Holies. Elsewhere he explains
that the Johannites "made themselves out to be the only people initiated
into the true mysteries of the religion of the Saviour. They professed
to know the real history of Jesus Christ, and by adopting part of Jewish
traditions and the stories of the Talmud, they made out that the facts
related in the Gospels"--that is to say, the Gospels accepted by the
orthodox Church--"were only allegories of which St. John gives the

But it is time to pass from legend to facts. For the whole story of the
initiation of the Templars by the "Johannites" rests principally on the
documents produced by the Ordre du Temple in 1811. According to the
Abbes Gregoire and Munter the authenticity and antiquity of these
documents are beyond dispute. Gregoire, referring to the parchment
manuscript of the _Levitikon_ and Gospel of St. John, says that
"Hellenists versed in paleography believe this manuscript to be of the
thirteenth century, others declare it to be earlier and to go back to
the eleventh century."[199] Matter, on the other hand, quoting Munter's
opinion that the manuscripts in the archives of the modern Templars date
from the thirteenth century, observes that this is all a tissue of
errors and that the critics, including the learned Professor Thilo of
Halle, have recognized that the manuscript in question, far from
belonging to the thirteenth century, dates from the beginning of the
eighteenth. From the arrangement of the chapters of the Gospel, M.
Matter arrives at the conclusion that it was intended to accompany the
ceremonies of some masonic or secret society.[200] We shall return to
this possibility in a later chapter.

The antiquity of the manuscript containing the history of the Templars
thus remains an open question on which no one can pronounce an opinion
without having seen the original. In order, then, to judge of the
probability of the story that this manuscript contained it is necessary
to consult the facts of history and to discover what proof can be found
that any such sect as the Johannites existed at the time of the Crusades
or earlier. Certainly none is known to have been called by this name or
by one resembling it before 1622, when some Portuguese monks reported
the existence of a sect whom they described as "Christians of St. John"
inhabiting the banks of the Euphrates. The appellation appears, however,
to have been wrongly applied by the monks, for the sectarians in
question, variously known as the Mandaeans, Mandaites, Sabians,
Nazoreans, etc., called themselves Mandai Iyahi, that is to say, the
disciples, or rather the wise men, of John, the word _mandai_ being
derived from the Chaldean word _manda_, corresponding to the Greek word
[Greek: gnosis] or wisdom.[201] The multiplicity of names given to the
Mandaeans arises apparently from the fact that in their dealings with
other communities they took the name of Sabians, whilst they called the
wise and learned amongst themselves Nazoreans.[202] The sect formerly
inhabited the banks of the Jordan, but was driven out by the Moslems,
who forced them to retire to Mesopotamia and Babylonia, where they
particularly affected the neighbourhood of rivers in order to be able to
carry out their peculiar baptismal rites.[203]

There can be no doubt that the doctrines of the Mandaeans do resemble the
description of the Johannite heresy as given by Eliphas Levi, though not
by the _Ordre du Temple_, in that the Mandaeans professed to be the
disciples of St. John--the Baptist, however, not the Apostle--but were
at the same time the enemies of Jesus Christ. According to the Mandaeans'
_Book of John_ (Sidra d'Yahya), Yahya, that is to say, St. John,
baptized myriads of men during forty years in the Jordan. By a
mistake--or in response to a written mandate from heaven saying,
"Yahya, baptize the liar in the Jordan"--he baptized the false prophet
Yishu Meshiha (the Messiah Jesus), son of the devil Ruha Kadishta.[204]
The same idea is found in another book of the sect, called the "Book of
Adam," which represents Jesus as the perverter of St. John's doctrine
and the disseminator of iniquity and perfidy throughout the world.[205]
The resemblance between all this and the legends of the Talmud, the
Cabala, and the Toledot Yeshu is at once apparent; moreover, the
Mandaeans claim for the "Book of Adam" the same origin as the Jews
claimed for the Cabala, namely, that it was delivered to Adam by God
through the hands of the angel Razael.[206] This book, known to scholars
as the _Codex Nasaraeus_, is described by Munter as "a sort of mosaic
without order, without method, where one finds mentioned Noah, Abraham,
Moses, Solomon, the Temple of Jerusalem, St. John the Baptist, Jesus
Christ, the Christians, and Mohammed." M. Matter, whilst denying any
proof of the Templar succession from the Mandaeans, nevertheless gives
good reason for believing that the sect itself existed from the first
centuries of the Christian era and that its books dated from the eighth
century[207]; further that these Mandaeans or Nazoreans--not to be
confounded with the pre-Christian Nazarites or Christian Nazarenes--were
Jews who revered St. John the Baptist as the prophet of ancient Mosaism,
but regarded Jesus Christ as a false Messiah sent by the powers of
darkness.[208] Modern Jewish opinion confirms this affirmation of Judaic
inspiration and agrees with Matter in describing the Mandaeans as
Gnostics: "Their sacred books are in an Aramaic dialect, which has close
affinities with that of the Talmud of Babylon." The Jewish influence is
distinctly visible in the Mandaean religion. "It is essentially of the
type of ancient Gnosticism, traces of which are found in the Talmud, the
Midrash, and in a modified form the later Cabala."[209]

It may then be regarded as certain that a sect existed long before the
time of the Crusades corresponding to the description of the Johannites
given by Eliphas Levi in that it was Cabalistic, anti-Christian, yet
professedly founded on the doctrines of one of the St. Johns. Whether it
was by this sect that the Templars were indoctrinated must remain an
open question. M. Matter objects that the evidence lacking to such a
conclusion lies in the fact that the Templars expressed no particular
reverence for St. John; but Loiseleur asserts that the Templars did
prefer the Gospel of St. John to that of the other evangelists, and that
modern masonic lodges claiming descent from the Templars possess a
special version of this Gospel said to have been copied from the
original on Mount Athos.[210] It is also said that "Baphomets" were
preserved in the masonic lodges of Hungary, where a debased form of
Masonry, known as Johannite Masonry, survives to this day. If the
Templar heresy was that of the Johannites, the head in question might
possibly represent that of John the Baptist, which would accord with the
theory that the word Baphomet was derived from Greek words signifying
baptism of wisdom. This would, moreover, not be incompatible with
Loiseleur's theory of an affinity between the Templars and the Bogomils,
for the Bogomils also possessed their own version of the Gospel of St.
John, which they placed on the heads of their neophytes during the
ceremony of initiation,[211] giving as the reason for the 'I peculiar
veneration they professed for its author that they regarded St. John as
the servant of the Jewish God Satanael.[212] Eliphas Levi even goes so
far as to accuse the Templars of following the occult practices of the
Luciferians, who carried the doctrines of the Bogomils to the point of
paying homage to the powers of darkness:

     Let us declare for the edification of the vulgar ... and for the
     greater glory of the Church which has persecuted the Templars,
     burned the magicians and excommunicated the Free-Masons, etc., let
     us say boldly and loudly, that all the initiates of the occult
     sciences ... have adored, do and will always adore that which is
     signified by this frightful symbol [the Sabbatic goat].[213] Yes,
     in our profound conviction, the Grand Masters of the Order of the
     Templars adored Baphomet and caused him to be adored by their

It will be seen, then, that the accusation of heresy brought against the
Templars does not emanate solely from the Catholic Church, but also from
the secret societies. Even our Freemasons, who, for reasons I shall show
later, have generally defended the Order, are now willing to admit that
there was a very real case against them. Thus Dr. Ranking, who has
devoted many years of study to the question, has arrived at the
conclusion that Johannism is the real clue to the Templar heresy. In a
very interesting paper published in the masonic journal _Ars Quatuor
Coronatorum_, he observes that "the record of the Templars in Palestine
is one long tale of intrigue and treachery on the part of the Order,"
and finally:

     That from the very commencement of Christianity there has been
     transmitted through the centuries a body of doctrine incompatible
     with Christianity in the various official Churches....

     That the bodies teaching these doctrines professed to do so on the
     authority of St. John, to whom, as they claimed, the true secrets
     had been committed by the Founder of Christianity.

     That during the Middle Ages the main support of the Gnostic bodies
     and the main repository of this knowledge was the Society of the

What is the explanation of this choice of St. John for the propagation
of anti-Christian doctrines which we shall find continuing up to the
present day? What else than the method of perversion which in its
extreme form becomes Satanism, and consists in always selecting the most
sacred things for the purpose of desecration? Precisely then because the
Gospel of St. John is the one of all the four which most insists on the
divinity of Christ, the occult anti-Christian sects have habitually made
it the basis of their rites.



It has been shown in the foregoing chapters that from very early times
occult sects had existed for two purposes--esoteric and political.
Whilst the Manicheans, the early Ismailis, the Bogomils, and the
Luciferians had concerned themselves mainly with religious or esoteric
doctrines, the later Ismailis, the Fatimites, the Karmathites, and
Templars had combined secrecy and occult rites with the political aim of
domination. We shall find this double tradition running through all the
secret society movement up to the present day.

The Dualist doctrines attributed to the Templars were not, however,
confined to this Order in Europe, but had been, as we have seen, those
professed by the Bogomils and also by the Cathari, who spread westwards
from Bulgaria and Bosnia to France. It was owing to their sojourn in
Bulgaria that the Cathari gained the popular nickname of "Bulgars" or
"Bourgres," signifying those addicted to unnatural vice. One section of
the Cathari in the South of France became known after 1180 as the
Albigenses, thus called from the town of Albi, although their
headquarters were really in Toulouse. Christians only in name, they
adhered in secret to the Gnostic and Manichean doctrines of the earlier
Cathari, which they would appear to have combined with Johannism, since,
like this Eastern sect, they claimed to possess their own Gospel of St.

Although not strictly a secret society, the Albigenses were divided
after the secret society system into initiates and semi-initiates. The
former, few in number, known as the _Perfecti_, led in appearance an
austere life, refraining from meat and professing abhorrence of oaths
or of lying. The mystery in which they enveloped themselves won for them
the adoring reverence of the _Credentes_, who formed the great majority
of the sect and gave themselves up to every vice, to usury, brigandage,
and perjury, and whilst describing marriage as prostitution, condoning
incest and all forms of licence.[217] The _Credentes_, who were probably
not fully initiated into the Dualist doctrines of their superiors,
looked to them for salvation through the laying-on of hands according to
the system of the Manicheans.

It was amongst the nobles of Languedoc that the Albigenses found their
principal support. This "Judaea of France," as it has been called, was
peopled by a medley of mixed races, Iberian, Gallic, Roman, and
Semitic.[218] The nobles, very different from the "ignorant and pious
chivalry of the North," had lost all respect for their traditions.
"There were few who in going back did not encounter some Saracen or
Jewish grandmother in their genealogy."[219] Moreover, many had brought
back to Europe the laxity of morals they had contracted during the
Crusades. The Comte de Comminges practised polygamy, and, according to
ecclesiastical chronicles, Raymond VI, Comte de Toulouse, one of the
most ardent of the Albigense _Credentes_, had his harem.[220] The
Albigensian movement has been falsely represented as a protest merely
against the tyranny of the Church of Rome; in reality it was a rising
against the fundamental doctrines of Christianity--more than this,
against all principles of religion and morality. For whilst some of the
sect openly declared that the Jewish law was preferable to that of the
Christians,[221] to others the God of the Old Testament was as abhorrent
as the "false Christ" who suffered at Golgotha; the old hatred of the
Gnostics and Manicheans for the demiurgus lived again in these rebels
against the social order. Forerunners of the seventeenth-century
Libertines and eighteenth-century Illuminati, the Albigense nobles,
under the pretext of fighting the priesthood, strove to throw off all
the restraints the Church imposed.

Inevitably the disorders that took place throughout the South of France
led to reprisals, and the Albigenses were suppressed with all the
cruelty of the age--a fact which has afforded historians the opportunity
to exalt them as noble martyrs, victims of ecclesiastical despotism. But
again, as in the case of the Templars, the fact that they were
persecuted does not prove them innocent of the crimes laid to their


At the beginning of the fourteenth century another development of
Dualism, far more horrible than the Manichean heresy of the Albigenses,
began to make itself felt. This was the cult of Satanism, or black
magic. The subject is one that must be approached with extreme caution,
owing to the fact that on one hand much that has been written about it
is the result of mediaeval superstition, which sees in every departure
from the Roman Catholic Faith the direct intervention of the Evil One,
whilst on the other hand the conspiracy of history, which denies _in
toto_ the existence of the Occult Power, discredits all revelations on
this question, from whatever source they emanate, as the outcome of
hysterical imagination.[222] This is rendered all the easier since the
subject by its amazing extravagance lends itself to ridicule.

It is, however, idle to deny that the cult of evil has always existed;
the invocation of the powers of darkness was practised in the earliest
days of the human race and, after the Christian era, found its
expression, as we have seen, in the Cainites, the Euchites, and the
Luciferians. These are not surmises, but actual facts of history.
Towards the end of the twelfth century Luciferianism spread eastwards
through Styria, the Tyrol, and Bohemia, even as far as Brandenburg; by
the beginning of the thirteenth century it had invaded western Germany,
and in the fourteenth century reached its zenith in that country, as
also in Italy and France. The cult had now reached a further stage in
its development, and it was not the mere propitiation of Satanael as the
prince of this world practised by the Luciferians, but actual
Satanism--the love of evil for the sake of evil--which formed the
doctrine of the sect known in Italy as _la vecchia religione_ or the
"old religion." Sorcery was adopted as a profession, and witches, not,
as is popularly supposed, sporadic growths, were trained in schools of
magic to practise their art. These facts should be remembered when the
Church is blamed for the violence it displayed against witchcraft--it
was not individuals, but a system which it set out to destroy.

The essence of Satanism is desecration. In the ceremonies for infernal
evocation described by Eliphas Levi we read: "It is requisite to profane
the ceremonies of the religion one belongs to and to trample its holiest
symbols under foot."[223] This practice found a climax in desecrating
the Holy Sacrament. The consecrated wafer was given as food to mice,
toads, and pigs, or denied in unspeakable ways. A revolting description
of the Black Mass may be found in Huysmans's book _La-bas_. It is
unnecessary to transcribe the loathsome details here. Suffice it, then,
to show that this cult had a very real existence, and if any further
doubt remains on the matter, the life of Gilles de Rais supplies
documentary evidence of the visible results of black magic in the Middle

Gilles de Rais was born at Machecoul in Brittany about the year 1404.
The first period of his life was glorious; the companion and guide of
Jeanne d'Arc, he became Marechal of France and distinguished himself by
many deeds of valour. But after dissipating his immense fortune, largely
on Church ceremonies carried out with the wildest extravagance, he was
led to study alchemy, partly by curiosity and partly as a means for
restoring his shattered fortunes. Hearing that Germany and Italy were
the countries where alchemy flourished, he enlisted Italians in his
service and was gradually drawn into the further region of magic.
According to Huysmans, Gilles de Rais had remained until this moment a
Christian mystic under the influence of Jeanne d'Arc, but after her
death--possibly in despair--he offered himself to the powers of
darkness. Evokers of Satan now flocked to him from every side, amongst
them Prelati, an Italian, by no means the old and wrinkled sorcerer of
tradition, but a young and attractive man of charming manners. For it
was from Italy that came the most skilful adepts in the art of alchemy,
astrology, magic, and infernal evocation, who spread themselves over
Europe, particularly France. Under the influence of these initiators
Gilles de Rais signed a letter to the devil in a meadow near Machecoul
asking him for "knowledge, power, and riches," and offering in exchange
anything that might be asked of him with the exception of his life or
his soul. But in spite of this appeal and of a pact signed with the
blood of the writer, no Satanic apparitions were forthcoming.

It was then that, becoming still more desperate, Gilles de Rais had
recourse to the abominations for which his name has remained
infamous--still more frightful invocations, loathsome debaucheries,
perverted vice in every form, Sadic cruelties, horrible sacrifices, and,
finally, holocausts of little boys and girls collected by his agents in
the surrounding country and put to death with the most inhuman tortures.
During the years 1432-40 literally hundreds of children disappeared.
Many of the names of the unhappy little victims were preserved in the
records of the period. Gilles de Rais met with a well-deserved end: in
1440 he was hanged and burnt. So far he does not appear to have found a
panegyrist to place him in the ranks of noble martyrs.

It will, of course, be urged that the crimes here described were those
of a criminal lunatic and not to be attributed to any occult cause; the
answer to this is that Gilles was not an isolated unit, but one of a
group of occultists who cannot all have been mad. Moreover, it was only
after his invocation of the Evil One that he developed these monstrous
proclivities. So also his eighteenth-century replica, the Marquis de
Sade, combined with his abominations an impassioned hatred of the
Christian religion.

What is the explanation of this craze for magic in Western Europe?
Deschamps points to the Cabala, "that science of demoniacal arts, of
which the Jews were the initiators," and undoubtedly in any
comprehensive review of the question the influence of the Jewish
Cabalists cannot be ignored. In Spain, Portugal, Provence, and Italy the
Jews by the fifteenth century had become a power; as early as 1450 they
had penetrated into the intellectual circles of Florence, and it was
also in Italy that, a century later, the modern Cabalistic school was
inaugurated by Isaac Luria (1533-72), whose doctrines were organized
into a practical system by the Hasidim of Eastern Europe for the writing
of amulets, the conjuration of devils, mystical jugglery with numbers
and letters, etc.[224] Italy in the fifteenth century was thus a centre
from which Cabalistic influences radiated, and it may be that the
Italians who indoctrinated Gilles de Rais had drawn their inspiration
from this source. Indeed Eliphas Levi, who certainly cannot be accused
of "Anti-Semitism," declares that "the Jews, the most faithful trustees
of the secret of the Cabala, were almost always the reat masters of
magic in the Middle Ages,"[225] and suggests that Gilles de Rais took
his monstrous recipes for using the blood of murdered children "from
some of those old Hebrew _grimoires_ (books on magic), which, if they
had been known, would have sufficed to hold up the Jews to the
execration of the whole earth."[226] Voltaire, in his _Henriade_,
likewise attributes the magical blood-rites practised in the sixteenth
century to Jewish inspiration:

    Dans l'ombre de la nuit, sous une voute obscure,
    Le silence conduit leui assemblee impure.
    A la pale lueur d'un magique flambeau
    S'eleve un vil autel dresse sur un tombeau.
    C'est la que des deux rois on placa les images,
    Objets de leur terreur, objets de leurs outrages.
    Leurs sacrileges mains out mele sur l'autel
    A des noms infernaux le nom de l'Eternel.
    Sur ces murs tenebreux des lances sont rangees,
    Dans des vases de sang leurs pointes sont plongees;
    Appareil menacant de leur mystere affreux.
    Le pretre de ce temple est un de ces Hebreux
    Qui, proscrits sur la terre et citoyens du monde,
    Portent de mers en mers leur misere profonde,
    Et, d'un antique ramas de superstitions,
    Out rempli des longtemps toutes les nations, etc.

Voltaire adds in a footnote: "It was ordinarily Jews that were made use
of for magical operations. This ancient superstition comes from the
secrets of the Cabala, of which the Jews called themselves the sole
depositaries. Catherine de Medicis, the Marechal d'Ancre, and many
others employed Jews for these spells."

This charge of black magic recurs all through the history of Europe from
the earliest times. The Jews are accused of poisoning wells, of
practising ritual murder, of using stolen church property for purposes
of desecration, etc. No doubt there enters into all this a great amount
of exaggeration, inspired by popular prejudice and mediaeval
superstition. Yet, whilst condeming the persecution to which the Jews
were subjected on this account, it must be admitted that they laid
themselves open to suspicion by their real addiction to magical arts. If
ignorant superstition is found on the side of the persecutors, still
more amazing superstition is found on the side of the persecuted.
Demonology in Europe was in fact essentially a Jewish science, for
although a belief in evil spirits existed from the earliest times and
has always continued to exist amongst primitive races, and also amongst
the ignorant classes in civilized countries, it was mainly through the
Jews that these dark superstitions were imported to the West, where they
persisted not merely amongst the lower strata of the Jewish population,
but formed an essential part of Jewish tradition. Thus the Talmud says:

     If the eye could perceive the demons that people the universe,
     existence would be impossible. The demons are more numerous than we
     are: they surround us on all sides like trenches dug round
     vineyards. Every one of us has a thousand on his left hand and ten
     thousand on his right. The discomfort endured by those who attend
     rabbinical conferences ... comes from the demons mingling with men
     in these circumstances. Besides, the fatigue one feels in one's
     knees in walking comes from the demons that one knocks up against
     at every step. If the clothing of the Rabbis wears out so quickly,
     it is again because the demons rub up against them. Whoever wants
     to convince himself of their presence has only to surround his bed
     with sifted cinders and the next morning he will see the imprints
     of cocks' feet.[227]

The same treatise goes on to give directions for seeing demons by
burning portions of a black cat and placing the ashes in one's eye:
"then at once one perceives the demons." The Talmud also explains that
devils particularly inhabit the waterspouts on houses and are fond of
drinking out of water-jugs, therefore it is advisable to pour a little
water out of a jug before drinking, so as to get rid of the unclean

These ideas received a fresh impetus from the publication of the Zohar,
which, a Jewish writer tells us, "from the fourteenth century held
almost unbroken sway over the minds of the majority of the Jews. In it
the Talmudic legends concerning the existence and activity of the
_shedhim_ (demons) are repeated and amplified, and a hierarchy of demons
was established corresponding to the heavenly hierarchy.... Manasseh
[ben Israel]'s _Nishmat Hayim_ is full of information concerning belief
in demons.... Even the scholarly and learned Rabbis of the seventeenth
century clung to the belief."[229]

Here, then, it is not a case of ignorant peasants evolving fantastic
visions from their own scared imaginations, but of the Rabbis, the
acknowledged leaders of a race claiming civilized traditions and a high
order of intelligence, deliberately inculcating in their disciples the
perpetual fear of demoniacal influences. How much of this fear
communicated itself to the Gentile population? It is at any rate a
curious coincidence to notice the resemblances between so-called popular
superstitions and the writings of the Rabbis. For example, the vile
confessions made both by Scotch and French peasant women accused of
witchcraft concerning the nocturnal visits paid them by male devils[230]
find an exact counterpart in passages of the Cabala, where it is said
that "the demons are both male and female, and they also endeavour to
consort with human beings--a conception from which arises the belief in
_incubi_ and _succubae_."[231] Thus, on Jewish authority, we learn the
Judaic origin of this strange delusion.

It is clearly to the same source that we may trace the magical formulae
for the healing of diseases current at the same period. From the
earliest times the Jews had specialized in medicine, and many royal
personages insisted on employing Jewish doctors,[232] some of whom may
have acquired medical knowledge of a high order. The Jewish writer
Margoliouth dwells on this fact with some complacency, and goes on to
contrast the scientific methods of the Hebrew doctors with the
quackeries of the monks:

     In spite of the reports circulated by the monks, that the Jews were
     sorcerers (in consequence of their superior medical skill),
     Christian patients would frequent the houses of the Jewish
     physicians in preference to the monasteries, where cures were
     pretended to have been effected by some extraordinary relics, such
     as the nails of St. Augustine, the extremity of St. Peter's second
     toe, ... etc. It need hardly be added that the cures effected by
     the Jewish physicians were more numerous than those by the monkish

Yet in reality the grotesque remedies which Margoliouth attributes to
Christian superstition appear to have been partly derived from Jewish
sources. The author of a further article on Magic in Hastings'
_Encyclopaedia_ goes on to say that the magical formulae handed down in
Latin in ancient medical writings and used by the monks were mainly of
Eastern origin, derived from Babylonish, Egyptian, and Jewish magic. The
monks therefore "played merely an intermediate role."[234] Indeed, if
we turn to the Talmud we shall find cures recommended no less absurd
than those which Margoliouth derides. For example:

     The eggs of a grasshopper as a remedy for toothache, the tooth of a
     fox as a remedy for sleep, viz. the tooth of a live fox to prevent
     sleep and of a dead one to cause sleep, the nail from the gallows
     where a man was hanged, as a remedy for swelling.[235]

A strongly "pro-Semite" writer quotes a number of Jewish medical
writings of the eighteenth century, republished as late as the end of
the nineteenth, which show the persistence of these magical formulae
amongst the Jews. Most of these are too loathsome to transcribe; but
some of the more innocuous are as follows: "For epilepsy kill a cock and
let it putrefy." "In order to protect yourself from all evils, gird
yourself with the rope with which a criminal has been hung." Blood of
different kinds also plays an important part: "Fox's blood and wolf's
blood are good for stone in the bladder, ram's blood for colic, weasel
blood for scrofula," etc.--these to be externally applied.[236]

But to return to Satanism. Whoever were the secret inspirers of magical
and diabolical practices during the fourteenth to the eighteenth
centuries, the evidence of the existence of Satanism during this long
period is overwhelming and rests on the actual facts of history. Details
quite as extravagant and revolting as those contained in the works of
Eliphas Levi[237] or in Huysmans's _La-bas_ are given in documentary
form by Margaret Alice Murray in her singularly passionless work
relating principally to the witches of Scotland.[238]

The cult of evil is a reality--by whatever means we may seek to explain
it. Eliphas Levi, whilst denying the existence of Satan "as a superior
personality and power," admits this fundamental truth: "Evil exists; it
is impossible to doubt it. We can do good or evil. There are beings who
knowingly and voluntarily do evil."[239] There are also beings who love
evil. Levi has admirably described the spirit that animates such beings
in his definition of black magic:

     Black magic is really but a combination of sacrileges and murders
     graduated with a view to the permanent perversion of the human will
     and the realization in a living man of the monstrous phantom of the
     fiend. It is, therefore, properly speaking, the religion of the
     devil, the worship of darkness, the hatred of goodness exaggerated
     to the point of paroxysm; it is the incarnation of death and the
     permanent creation of hell.[240]

The Middle Ages, which depicted the devil fleeing from holy water, were
not perhaps quite so benighted as our superior modern culture has led us
to suppose. For that "hatred of goodness exaggerated to the point of
paroxysm," that impulse to desecrate and defile which forms the basis of
black magic and has manifested itself in successive phases of the
world-revolution, springs from fear. So by their very hatred the powers
of darkness proclaim the existence of the powers of light and their own
impotence. In the cry of the demoniac: "What have we to do with Thee,
Jesus of Nazareth? art Thou come to destroy us? I know Thee who Thou
art, the Holy One of God," do we not hear the unwilling tribute of the
vanquished to the victor in the mighty conflict between good; and evil?

The Rosicrucians

In dealing with the question of Magic it is necessary to realize that
although to the world in general the word is synonymous with necromancy,
it does not bear this significance in the language of occultism,
particularly the occultism of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.
Magic at this date was a term employed to cover many branches of
investigation which Robert Fludd, the English Rosicrucian, classified
under various headings, of which the first three are as follows: (1)
"_Natural Magic_, ... that most occult and secret department of physics
by which the mystical properties of natural substances are extracted";
(2) _Mathematical Magic_, which enables adepts in the art to "construct
marvellous machines by means of their geometrical knowledge "; whilst
(3) _Venefic Magic_ "is familiar with potions, philtres, and with
various preparations of poisons."[241]

It is obvious that all these have now passed into the realms of science
and are no longer regarded as magical arts; but the further categories
enumerated by Fludd and comprised under the general heading of
_Necromantic Magic_ retain the popular sense of the term. These are
described as (i) _Goetic_, which consists in "diabolical commerce with
unclean spirits, in rites of criminal curiosity, in illicit songs and
invocations, and in the evocation of the souls of the dead"; (2)
_Maleficent_, which is the adjuration of the devils by the virtue of
Divine Names; and (3) _Theurgic_, purporting "to be governed by good
angels and the Divine Will, but its wonders are most frequently
performed by evil spirits, who assume the names of God and of the
angels." (4) "The last species of magic is the _Thaumaturgic_, begetting
illusory phenomena; by this art the Magi produced their phantoms and
other marvels." To this list might be added _Celestial Magic_, or
knowledge dealing with the influence of the heavenly bodies, on which
astrology is based.

The forms of magic dealt with in the preceding part of this chapter
belong therefore to the second half of these categories, that is to say,
to Necromantic Magic. But at the same period another movement was
gradually taking shape which concerned itself with the first category
enumerated above, that is to say, the secret properties of natural

A man whose methods appear to have approached to the modern conception
of scientific research was Theophrastus Bombastus von Hohenheim,
commonly known as Paracelsus, the son of a German doctor, born about
1493, who during his travels in the East is said to have acquired a
knowledge of some secret doctrine which he afterwards elaborated into a
system for the healing of diseases. Although his ideas were thus
doubtless drawn from some of the same sources as those from which the
Jewish Cabala descended, Paracelsus does not appear to have been a
Cabalist, but a scientist of no mean order, and, as an isolated thinker,
apparently connected with no secret association, does not enter further
into the scope of this work.

Paracelsus must therefore not be identified with the school of so-called
"Christian Cabalists," who, from Raymond Lulli, the "doctor illuminatus"
of the thirteenth century, onward, drew their inspiration from the
Cabala of the Jews. This is not to say that the influence under which
they fell was wholly pernicious, for, just as certain Jews appear to
have acquired some real medical skill, so also they appear to have
possessed some real knowledge of natural science, inherited perhaps from
the ancient traditions of the East or derived from the writings of
Hippocrates, Galen, and other of the great Greek physicians and as yet
unknown to Europe. Thus Eliphas Levi relates that the Rabbi Jechiel, a
Cabalistic Jew protected by St. Louis, possessed the secret of
ever-burning lamps,[242] claimed later by the Rosicrucians, which
suggests the possibility that some kind of luminous gas or electric
light may have been known to the Jews. In alchemy they were the
acknowledged leaders; the most noted alchemist of the fourteenth
century, Nicholas Flamel, discovered the secret of the art from the book
of "Abraham the Jew, Prince, Priest, Levite, Astrologer, and
Philosopher," and this actual book is said to have passed later into the
possession of Cardinal Richelieu.[243]

It was likewise from a Florentine Jew, Alemanus or Datylus, that Pico
della Mirandola, the fifteenth-century mystic, received instructions in
the Cabala[244] and imagined that he had discovered in it the doctrines
of Christianity. This delighted Pope Sixtus IV, who thereupon ordered
Cabalistic writings to be translated into Latin for the use of divinity
students. At the same time the Cabala was introduced into Germany by
Reuchlin, who had learnt Hebrew from the Rabbi Jacob b. Jechiel Loans,
court physician to Frederick III, and in 1494 published a Cabalistic
treatise _De Verbo Mirifico_, showing that all wisdom and true
philosophy are derived from the Hebrews. Considerable alarm appears,
however, to have been created by the spread of Rabbinical literature,
and in 1509 a Jew converted to Christianity, named Pfefferkorn,
persuaded the Emperor Maximilian I to burn all Jewish books except the
Old Testament. Reuchlin, consulted on this matter, advised only the
destruction of the Toledot Yeshu and of the Sepher Nizzachon by the
Rabbi Lipmann, because these works "were full of blasphemies against
Christ and against the Christian religion," but urged the preservation
of the rest. In this defence of Jewish literature he was supported by
the Duke of Bavaria, who appointed him professor at Ingoldstadt, but was
strongly condemned by the Dominicans of Cologne. In reply to their
attacks Reuchlin launched his defence _De Arte Cabalistica_, glorifying
the Cabala, of which the "central doctrine for him was the Messianology
around which all its other doctrines grouped themselves."[245] His
whole philosophical system, as he himself admitted, was in fact entirely
Cabalistic, and his views were shared by his contemporary Cornelius
Agrippa of Nettesheim. As a result of these teachings a craze for
Cabalism spread amongst Christian prelates, statesmen, and warriors, and
a number of Christian thinkers took up the doctrines of the Cabala and
"essayed to work them over in their own way." Athanasius Kircher and
Knorr, Baron von Rosenroth, author of the _Kabbala Denudata_, in the
course of the seventeenth century "endeavoured to spread the Cabala
among the Christians by translating Cabalistic works which they regarded
as most ancient wisdom." "Most of them," the _Jewish Encyclopaedia_ goes
on to observe derisively, "held the absurd idea that the Cabala
contained proofs of the truth of Christianity.... Much that appears
Christian [in the Cabala] is, in fact, nothing but the logical
development of certain ancient esoteric doctrines."[246]

The Rosicrucians appear to have been the outcome both of this Cabalistic
movement and of the teachings of Paracelsus. The earliest intimation of
their existence was given in a series of pamphlets which appeared at the
beginning of the seventeenth century. The first of these, entitled the
_Fama Fraternitatis; or a Discovery of the Fraternity of the most
Laudable Order of the Rosy Cross_, was published at Cassel in 1614 and
the _Confessio Fraternitatis_ early in the following year. These contain
what may be described as the "Grand Legend" of Rosicrucianism, which has
been repeated with slight variations up to the present day. Briefly,
this story is as follows[247]:

"The most godly and highly-illuminated Father, our brother C.R.," that
is to say, Christian Rosenkreutz, "a German, the chief and original of
our Fraternity," was born in 1378, and some sixteen years later
travelled to the East with a Brother P.A.L., who had determined to go to
the Holy Land. On reaching Cyprus, Brother P.A.L. died and "so never
came to Jerusalem." Brother C.R., however, having become acquainted with
certain Wise Men of "Damasco in Arabia," and beheld what great wonders
they wrought, went on alone to Damasco. Here the Wise Men received him,
and he then set himself to study Physick and Mathematics and to
translate the Book M into Latin. After three years he went to Egypt,
whence he journeyed on to Fez, where "he did get acquaintance with those
who are called the Elementary inhabitants, who revealed to him many of
their secrets.... Of those of Fez he often did confess that their Magia
was not altogether pure and also that their Cabala was defiled with
their religion, but notwithstanding he knew how to make good use of the
same." After two years Brother C.R. departed the city Fez and sailed
away with many costly things into Spain, where he conferred with the
learned men and being "ready bountifully to impart all his arts and
secrets" showed them amongst other things how "there might be a society
in Europe which might have gold, silver, and precious stones sufficient
for them to bestow on kings for their necessary uses and lawful

Christian Rosenkreutz then returned to Germany, where "there is nowadays
no want of learned men, Magicians, Cabalists, Physicians, and
Philosophers." Here he "builded himself a fitting and neat habitation in
which he ruminated his voyage and philosophy and reduced them together
in a true memorial." At the end of five years' meditation there "came
again into his mind the wished-for Reformation: accordingly he chose
some few adjoyned with him," the Brethren G.V., I.A., and I.O.--the
last of whom "was very expert and well learned in Cabala as his book H
witnesseth"--to form a circle of initiates. "After this manner began
the Fraternity of the Rosy Cross." Five other Brethren were afterwards
added, all Germans except I.A., and these eight constituted his new
building called Sancti Spiritus. The following agreement was then drawn

     First, that none of them should profess any other thing than to
     cure the sick, and that gratis.

     Second, none of the posterity should be constrained to wear one
     certain kind of habit, but therein to follow the custom of the

     Third, that every year, upon the day C., they should meet together
     at the house Sancti Spiritus, or write the cause of his absence.

     Fourth, every Brother should look about for a worthy person who,
     after his decease, might succeed him.

     Fifth, the word C.R. should be their seal, mark, and character.

     Sixth, the Fraternity should remain secret one hundred years.

Finally Brother C.R. died, but where and when, or in what country he was
buried, remained a secret. The date, however, is generally given as
1484. In 1604 the Brethren who then constituted the inner circle of the
Order discovered a door on which was written in large letters

     Post 120 Annos Patebo.

On opening the door a vault was disclosed to view, where beneath a brass
tablet the body of Christian Rosenkreutz was found, "whole and
unconsumed," with all his "ornaments and attires," and holding in his
hand the parchment "I" which "next unto the Bible is our greatest
treasure," whilst beside him lay a number of books, amongst others the
_Vocabulario_ of Paracelsus, who, however, the _Fama_ observes, earlier
"was none of our Fraternity."[248]

The Brethren now knew that after a time there would be "a general
reformation both of divine and human things." While declaring their
belief in the Christian faith, the _Fama_ goes on to explain that:

     Our Philosophy is not a new invention, but as Adam after his fall
     hath received it and as Moses and Solomon used it, ... wherein
     Plato, Aristotle, Pythagoras, and others did hit the mark and
     wherein Enoch, Abraham, Moses, Solomon, did excel, but especially
     wherewith that wonderful Book the Bible agreeth.

It will be seen that, according to this Manifesto, Rosicrucianism was a
combination of the ancient secret tradition handed down from the
patriarchs through the philosophers of Greece and of the first Cabala of
the Jews.

The "Grand Legend" of Rosicrucianism rests, however, on no historical
evidence; there is, in fact, not the least reason to suppose that any
such person as Christian Rosenkreutz ever existed. The Illuminatus von
Knigge in the eighteenth century asserted that:

     It is now recognized amongst enlightened men that no real
     Rosicrucians have existed, but that the whole of what is contained
     in the _Fama_ and the _Universal Reformation of the World_ [another
     Rosicrucian pamphlet which appeared in the same year] was only a
     subtle allegory of Valentine Andrea, of which afterwards partly
     deceivers (such as the Jesuits) and partly visionaries made use in
     order to realize this dream.[249]

What, then, was the origin of the name Rose-Cross? According to one
Rosicrucian tradition, the word "Rose" does not derive from the flower
depicted on the Rosicrucian cross, but from the Latin word _ros_,
signifying "dew," which was supposed to be the most powerful solvent of
gold, whilst _crux_, the cross, was the chemical hieroglyphic for
"light."[250] It is said that the Rosicrucians interpreted the initials
on the cross INRI by the sentence "Igne Nitrum Roris Invenitur."[251]
Supposing this derivation to be correct, it would be interesting to know
whether any connexion could be traced between the first appearance of
the word Rosie Cross in the _Fama Fraternitatis_ at the date of 1614 and
the cabalistic treatise of the celebrated Rabbi of Prague, Shabbethai
Sheftel Horowitz, entitled _Shefa Tal_, that is to say, "The Effusion of
Dew," which appeared in 1612.[252] Although this book has often been
reprinted, no copy is to be found in the British Museum, so I am unable
to pursue this line of enquiry further. A simpler explanation may be
that the Rosy Cross derived from the Red Cross of the Templars.
Mirabeau, who as a Freemason and an Illuminatus was in a position to
discover many facts about the secret societies of Germany during his
stay in the country, definitely asserts that "the Rose Croix Masons of
the seventeenth century were only the ancient Order of the Templars
secretly perpetuated."[253]

Lecouteulx de Canteleu is more explicit:

     In France the Knights (Templar) who left the Order, henceforth
     hidden, and so to speak unknown, formed the Order of the Flaming
     Star and of the Rose-Croix, which in the fifteenth century spread
     itself in Bohemia and Silesia. Every Grand officer of these Orders
     had all his life to wear the Red Cross and to repeat every day the
     prayer of St. Bernard.[254]

Eckert states that the ritual, symbols, and names of the Rose-Croix were
borrowed from the Templars, and that the Order was divided into seven
degrees, according to the seven days of creation, at the same time
signifying that their "principal aim was that of the mysterious, the
investigation of Being and of the forces of nature."[255]

The Rosicrucian Kenneth Mackenzie, in his _Masonic Cyclopaedia_, appears
to suggest the same possibility of Templar origin. Under the heading of
Rosicrucians he refers enigmatically to an invisible fraternity that has
existed from very ancient times, as early as the days of the Crusades,
"bound by solemn obligations of impenetrable secrecy," and joining
together in work for humanity and to "glorify the good." At various
periods of history this body has emerged into a sort of temporary light;
but its true name has never transpired and is only known to the
innermost adepts and rulers of the society. "The Rosicrucians of the
sixteenth century finally disappeared and re-entered this invisible
fraternity "--from which they had presumably emerged. Whether any such
body really existed or whether the above account is simply an attempt at
mystification devised to excite curiosity, the incredulous may question.
The writer here observes that it would be indiscreet to say more, but
elsewhere he throws out a hint that may have some bearing on the matter,
for in his article on the Templars he says that after the suppression of
the Order it was revived in a more secret form and subsists to the
present day. This would exactly accord with Mirabeau's statement that
the Rosicrucians were only the Order of the Templars secretly
perpetuated. Moreover, as we shall see later, according to a legend
preserved by the Royal Order of Scotland, the degree of the Rosy Cross
had been instituted by that Order in conjunction with the Templars in
1314, and it would certainly be a remarkable coincidence that a man
bearing the name of Rosenkreutz should happen to have inaugurated a
society, founded, like the Templars, on Eastern secret doctrines during
the course of the same century, without any connexion existing between
the two.

I would suggest, then, that Christian Rosenkreutz was a purely mythical
personage, and that the whole legend concerning his travels was invented
to disguise the real sources whence the Rosicrucians derived their
system, which would appear to have been a compound of ancient esoteric
doctrines, of Arabian and Syrian magic, and of Jewish Cabalism, partly
inherited from the Templars but reinforced by direct contact with
Cabalistic Jews in Germany. The Rose-Croix, says Mirabeau, "were a
mystical, Cabalistic, theological, and magical sect," and Rosicrucianism
thus became in the seventeenth century the generic title by which
everything of the nature of Cabalism, Theosophy, Alchemy, Astrology, and
Mysticism was designated. For this reason it has been said that they
cannot be regarded as the descendants of the Templars. Mr. Waite, in
referring to "the alleged connexion between the Templars and the
Brethren of the Rosy Cross," observes:

     The Templars were not alchemists, they had no scientific
     pretensions, and their secret, so far as it can be ascertained, was
     a religious secret of an anti-Christian kind. The Rosicrucians, on
     the other hand, were pre-eminently a learned society and they were
     also a Christian sect.[256]

The fact that the Templars do not appear to have practised alchemy is
beside the point; it is not pretended that the Rosicrucians followed the
Templars in every particular, but that they were the inheritors of a
secret tradition passed on to them by the earlier Order. Moreover, that
they were a learned society, or even a society at all, is not at all
certain, for they would appear to have possessed no organization like
the Templars or the Freemasons, but to have consisted rather of isolated
occultists bound together by some tie of secret knowledge concerning
natural phenomena. This secrecy was no doubt necessary at a period when
scientific research was liable to be regarded as sorcery, but whether
the Rosicrucians really accomplished anything is extremely doubtful.
They are said to have been alchemists; but did they ever succeed in
transmuting metals? They are described as learned, yet do the pamphlets
emanating from the Fraternity betray any proof of superior knowledge?
"The Chymical Marriage of Christian Rosenkreutz," which appeared in
1616, certainly appears to be the purest nonsense--magical imaginings of
the most puerile kind; and Mr. Waite himself observes that the
publication of the _Fama_ and the _Confessio Fraternitalis_ will not add
new lustre to the Rosicrucian reputations:

     We are accustomed to regard the adepts of the Rosy Cross as beings
     of sublime elevation and preternatural physical powers, masters of
     Nature, monarchs of the intellectual world.... But here in their
     own acknowledged manifestos they avow themselves a mere
     theosophical offshoot of the Lutheran heresy, acknowledging the
     spiritual supremacy of a temporal prince, and calling the Pope
     anti-Christ.... We find them intemperate in their language, rabid
     in their religious prejudices, and instead of towering giant-like
     above the intellectual average of their age, we see them buffeted
     by the same passions and identified with all opinions of the men by
     whom they were environed. The voice which addresses us behind the
     mystical mask of the Rose-Croix does not come from an intellectual

So much for the Rosicrucians as a "learned society."

What, then, of their claim to be a Christian body? The Rosicrucian
student of the Cabala, Julius Sperber, in his _Echo of the Divinely
Illuminated Fraternity of the Admirable Order of the R.C._ (1615), has
indicated the place assigned to Christ by the Rosicrucians. In De
Quincey's words:

     Having maintained the probability of the Rosicrucian pretensions
     on the ground that such _magnalia Dei_ had from the creation
     downwards been confided to the keeping of a few
     individuals--agreeably to which he affirms that Adam was the first
     Rosicrucian of the Old Testament and Simeon the last--he goes on to
     ask whether the Gospel put an end to the secret tradition? By no
     means, he answers: Christ established a new "college of magic"
     among His disciples, and the greater mysteries were revealed to St.
     John and St. Paul.

John Yarker, quoting this passage, adds: "This, Brother Findel points
out, was a claim of the Carpocratian Gnostics"; it was also, as we have
seen, a part of the Johannite tradition which is said to have been
imparted to the Templars. We shall find the same idea of Christ as an
"initiate" running all through the secret societies up to the present

These doctrines not unnaturally brought on the Rosicrucians the
suspicion of being an anti-Christian body. The writer of a contemporary
pamphlet published in 1624, declares that "this fraternity is a
stratagem of the Jews and Cabalistic Hebrews, in whose philosophy, says
Pic de la Mirandole, all things are ... as if hidden in the majesty of
truth or as ... in very sacred Mysteries."[257]

Another work, _Examination of the Unknown and Novel Cabala of the
Brethren of the Rose-Cross_, agrees with the assertion that the chief of
this "execrable college is Satan, that its first rule is denial of God,
blasphemy against the most simple and undivided Trinity, trampling on
the mysteries of the redemption, spitting in the face of the mother of
God and of all the saints." The sect is further accused of compacts with
the devil, sacrifices of children, of cherishing toads, making poisonous
powders, dancing with fiends, etc.

Now, although all this would appear to be quite incompatible with the
character of the Rosicrucians as far as it is known, we have already
seen that the practices here described were by no means imaginary; in
this same seventeenth century, when the fame of the Rosicrucians was
first noised abroad, black magic was still, as in the days of Gilles de
Rais, a horrible reality, not only in France but in England, Scotland,
and Germany, where sorcerers of both sexes were continually put to
death.[258] However much we may deplore the methods employed against
these people or question the supernatural origin of their cult, it would
be idle to deny that the cult itself existed.

Moreover, towards the end of the century it assumed in France a very
tangible form in the series of mysterious dramas known as the "Affaire
des Poisons," of which the first act took place in 1666, when the
celebrated Marquise de Brinvilliers embarked on her amazing career of
crime in collaboration with her lover Sainte-Croix. This extraordinary
woman, who for ten years made a hobby of trying the effects of various
slow poisons on her nearest relations, thereby causing the death of her
father and brothers, might appear to have been merely an isolated
criminal of the abnormal type but for the sequel to her exploits in the
epidemic of poisoning which followed and during twenty years kept Paris
in a state of terror. The investigations of the police finally led to
the discovery of a whole band of magicians and alchemists--"a vast
ramification of malefactors covering all France"--who specialized in
the art of poisoning without fear of detection.

Concerning all these sorcerers, alchemists, compounders of magical
powders and philtres, frightful rumours circulated, "pacts with the
devil were talked of, sacrifices of new-born babies, incantations,
sacrilegious Masses and other practices as disquieting as they were
lugubrious."[259] Even the King's mistress, Madame de Montespan, is
said to have had recourse to black Masses in order to retain the royal
favour through the agency of the celebrated sorceress La Voisin, with
whom she was later implicated in an accusation of having attempted the
life of the King.

All the extraordinary details of these events have recently been
described in the book of Madame Latour, where the intimate connexion
between the poisoners and the magicians is shown. In the opinion of
contemporaries, these were not isolated individuals:

     "Their methods were too certain, their execution of crime too
     skilful and too easy for them not to have belonged, either directly
     or indirectly, to a whole organization of criminals who prepared
     the way, and studied the method of giving to crime the appearance
     of illness, of forming, in a word, a school."[260]

The author of the work here quoted draws an interesting parallel between
this organization and the modern traffic in cocaine, and goes on to
describe the three degrees into which it was divided: firstly, the
Heads, cultivated and intelligent men, who understood chemistry,
physics, and nearly all useful sciences, "invisible counsellors but
supreme, without whom the sorcerers and diviners would have been
powerless"; secondly, the visible magicians employing mysterious
processes, complicated rites and terrifying ceremonies; and thirdly, the
crowd of nobles and plebeians who flocked to the doors of the sorcerers
and filled their pockets in return for magic potions, philtres, and, in
certain cases, insidious poisons. Thus La Voisin must be placed in the
second category; "in spite of her luxury, her profits, and her fame,"
she "is only a subaltern agent in this vast organization of criminals.
She depends entirely for her great enterprises on the intellectual
chiefs of the corporation...."[261]

Who were these intellectual chiefs? The man who first initiated Madame
de Brinvilliers' lover Sainte-Croix into the art of poisoning was an
Italian named Exili or Eggidi; but the real initiate from whom Eggidi
and another Italian poisoner had learnt their secrets is said to have
been Glaser, variously described as a German or a Swiss chemist, who
followed the principles of Paracelsus and occupied the post of physician
to the King and the Duc d'Orleans.[262] This man, about whose history
little is known, might thus have been a kind of Rosicrucian. For since,
as has been said, the intellectual chiefs from whom the poisoners
derived their inspiration were men versed in chemistry, in science, in
physics, and the treatment of diseases, and since, further, they
included alchemists and people professing to be in possession of the
Philosopher's Stone, their resemblance with the Rosicrucians is at once
apparent. Indeed, in turning back to the branches of magic enumerated by
the Rosicrucian Robert Fludd, we find not only Natural Magic, "that most
occult and secret department of physics by which the mystical properties
of natural substances are extracted," but also Venefic Magic, which "is
familiar with potions, philtres, and with various preparations of

The art of poisoning was therefore known to the Rosicrucians, and,
although there is no reason to suppose it was ever practised by the
heads of the Fraternity, it is possible that the inspirers of the
poisoners may have been perverted Rosicrucians, that is to say, students
of those portions of the Cabala relating to magic both of the
necromantic and venefic varieties, who turned the scientific knowledge
which the Fraternity of the Rosy Cross used for healing to a precisely
opposite and deadly purpose. This would explain the fact that
contemporaries like the author of the _Examination of the Unknown and
Novel Cabala of the Brethren of the Rose-Cross_ should identify these
brethren with the magicians and believe them to be guilty of practices
deriving from the same source as Rosicrucian knowledge--the Cabala of
the Jews. Their modern admirers would, of course, declare that they were
the poles asunder, the difference being between white and black magic.
Huysmans, however, scoffs at this distinction and says the use of the
term "white magic" was a ruse of the Rose-Croix.

But of the real doctrines of the Rosicrucians no one can speak with
certainty. The whole story of the Fraternity is wrapped in mystery.
Mystery was avowedly the essence of their system; their identity, their
aims, their doctrines, are said to have been kept a profound secret from
the world. Indeed it is said that no real Rosicrucian ever allowed
himself to be known as such. As a result of this systematic method of
concealment, sceptics on the one hand have declared the Rosicrucians to
have been charlatans and impostors or have denied their very existence,
whilst on the other hand romancers have exalted them as depositaries of
supernatural wisdom. The question is further obscured by the fact that
most accounts of the Fraternity--as, for example, those of Eliphas Levi,
Hargrave Jennings, Kenneth Mackenzie, Mr. A.E. Waite, Dr. Wynn Westcott,
and Mr. Cadbury Jones--are the work of men claiming or believing
themselves to be initiated into Rosicrucianism or other occult systems
of a kindred nature and as such in possession of peculiar and exclusive
knowledge. This pretension may at once be dismissed as an absurdity;
nothing is easier than for anyone to make a compound out of Jewish
Cabalism and Eastern theosophy and to label it Rosicrucianism, but no
proof whatever exists of any affiliation between the self-styled
Rosicrucians of to-day and the seventeenth-century "Brothers of the Rosy

In spite of Mr. Wake's claim, "The Real History of the Rosicrucians"
still remains to be written, at any rate in the English language. The
book he has published under this name is merely a superficial study of
the question largely composed of reprints of Rosicrucian pamphlets
accessible to any student. Mr. Wigston and Mrs. Pott merely echo Mr.
Waite. Thus everything that has been published hitherto consists in the
repetition of Rosicrucian legends or in unsubstantiated theorizings on
their doctrines. What we need are facts. We want to know who were the
early Rosicrucians, when the Fraternity originated, and what were its
real aims. These researches must be made, not by an occultist weaving
his own theories into the subject, but by a historian free from any
prejudices for or against the Order, capable of weighing evidence and
bringing a judicial mind to bear on the material to be found in the
libraries of the Continent--notably the Bibliotheque de l'Arsenal in
Paris. Such a work would be a valuable contribution to the history of
secret societies in our country.

But if the Continental Brethren of the Rose-Croix form but a shadowy
group of "Invisibles" whose identity yet remains a mystery, the English
adepts of the Order stand forth in the light of day as, philosophers
well known to their age and country. That Francis Bacon was initiated
into Rosicrucianism is now recognized by Freemasons, but a more definite
link with the Rosicrucians of the Continent was Robert Fludd, who after
travelling for six years in France, Germany, Italy, and Spain--where he
formed connexions with Jewish Cabalists[264]--was visited by the German
Jew Rosicrucian Michel Maier--doctor to the Emperor Rudolf--by whom he
appears to have been initiated into further mysteries.

In 1616 Fludd published his _Tractatus Apologeticus_, defending the
Rosicrucians against the charges of "detestable magic and diabolical
superstition" brought against them by Libavius. Twelve years later Fludd
was attacked by Father Mersenne, to whom a reply was made "by Fludd or a
friend of Fludd's" containing a further defence of the Order. "The
Book," says Mr. Waite, "treats of the noble art of magic, the foundation
and nature of the Cabala, the essence of veritable alchemy, and of the
Causa Fratrum Rosae Crucis. It identifies the palace or home of the
Rosicrucians with the Scriptural House of Wisdom."

In further works by English writers the Eastern origin of the Fraternity
is insisted on. Thus Thomas Vaughan, known as Eugenius Philalethes,
writing in praise of the Rosicrucians in 1652, says that "their
knowledge at first was not purchased by their own disquisitions, for
they received it from the Arabians, amongst whom it remained as the
monument and legacy of the Children of the East. Nor is this at all
improbable, for the Eastern countries have been always famous for
magical and secret societies."

Another apologist of the Rosicrucians, John Heydon, who travelled in
Egypt, Persia, and Arabia, is described by a contemporary as having been
in "many strange places among the Rosie Crucians and at their castles,
holy houses, temples, sepulchres, sacrifices." Heydon himself, whilst
declaring that he is not a Rosicrucian, says that he knows members of
the Fraternity and its secrets, that they are sons of Moses, and that
"this Rosie Crucian Physick or Medicine, I happily and unexpectedly
alight upon in Arabia." These references to castles, temples,
sacrifices, encountered in Egypt, Persia, and Arabia inevitably recall
memories of both Templars and Ismailis. Is there no connexion between
"the Invisible Mountains of the Brethren" referred to elsewhere by
Heydon and the Mountains of the Assassins and the Freemasons? between
the Scriptural "House of Wisdom" and the Dar-ul-Hikmat or Grand Lodge of
Cairo, the model for Western masonic lodges?

It is as the precursors of the crisis which arose in 1717 that the
English Rosicrucians of the seventeenth century are of supreme
importance. No longer need we concern ourselves with shadowy Brethren
laying dubious claim to supernatural wisdom, but with a concrete
association of professed Initiates proclaiming their existence to the
world under the name of Freemasonry.



"The origin of Freemasonry," says a masonic writer of the eighteenth
century, "is known to Freemasons alone."[265] If this was once the
case, it is so no longer, for, although the question would certainly
appear to be one on which the initiated should be most qualified to
speak, the fact is that no official theory on the origin of Freemasonry
exists; the great mass of the Freemasons do _not_ know or care to know
anything about the history of their Order, whilst Masonic authorities
are entirely disagreed on the matter. Dr. Mackey admits that "the origin
and source whence first sprang the institution of Freemasonry has given
rise to more difference of opinion and discussion among masonic scholars
than any other topic in the literature of the institution."[266] Nor is
this ignorance maintained merely in books for the general public, since
in those specially addressed to the Craft and at discussions in lodges
the same diversity of opinion prevails, and no decisive conclusions
appear to be reached. Thus Mr. Albert Churchward, a Freemason of the
thirtieth degree, who deplores the small amount of interest taken in
this matter by Masons in general, observes:

Hitherto there have been so many contradictory opinions and theories in
the attempt to supply the origin and the reason whence, where, and why
the Brotherhood of Freemasonry came into existence, and all the
"different parts" and various rituals of the "different degrees." All
that has been written on this has hitherto been _theories_, without any
facts for their fundation.[267]

In the absence, therefore, of any origin universally recognized by the
Craft, it is surely open to the lay mind to speculate on the matter and
to draw conclusions from history as to which of the many explanations
put forward seems to supply the key to the mystery.

According to the _Royal Masonic Cyclopaedia_, no less than twelve
theories have been advanced as to the origins of the Order, namely, that
Masonry derived:

"(1) From the patriarchs. (2) From the mysteries of the pagans. (3) From
the construction of Solomon's Temple, (4) From the Crusades. (5) From
the Knights Templar. (6) From the Roman Collegia of Artificers. (7) From
the operative masons of the Middle Ages. (8) From the Rosicrucians of
the sixteenth century. (9) From Oliver Cromwell. (10) From Prince
Charles Stuart for political purposes. (11) From Sir Christopher Wren,
at the building of St. Paul's. (12) From Dr. Desaguliers and his friends
in 1717."

This enumeration is, however, misleading, for it implies that in _one_
of these various theories the true origin of Freemasonry may be found.
In reality modern Freemasonry is a dual system, a blend of two distinct
traditions--of operative masonry, that is to say the actual art of
building, and of speculative theory on the great truths of life and
death. As a well-known Freemason, the Count Goblet d'Alviella, has
expressed it: "Speculative Masonry" (that is to say, the dual system we
now know as Freemasonry) "is the legitimate offspring of a fruitful
union between the professional guild of mediaeval Masons and of a secret
group of philosophical Adepts, the first having furnished the form and
the second the spirit."[268] In studying the origins of the present
system we have therefore (1) to examine separately the history of each
of these two traditions, and (2) to discover their point of junction.

Operative Masonry

Beginning with the first of these two traditions, we find that guilds of
working masons existed in very ancient times. Without going back as far
as ancient Egypt or Greece, which would be beyond the scope of the
present work, the course of these associations may be traced throughout
the history of Western Europe from the beginning of the Christian era.
According to certain masonic writers, the Druids originally came from
Egypt and brought with them traditions relating to the art of building.
The _Culdees_, who later on established schools and colleges in this
country for the teaching of arts, sciences, and handicrafts, are said
to have derived from the Druids.

But a more probable source of inspiration in the art of building are the
Romans, who established the famous collegia of architects referred to in
the list of alternative theories given in the _Masonic Cyclopaedia_.
Advocates of the Roman Collegia origin of Freemasonry might be right as
far as operative masonry is concerned, for it is to the period following
on the Roman occupation of Britain that our masonic guilds can with the
greatest degree of certainty be traced. Owing to the importance the art
of building now acquired it is said that many distinguished men, such as
St. Alban, King Alfred, King Edwin, and King Athelstan, were numbered
amongst its patrons,[269] so that in time the guilds came to occupy the
position of privileged bodies and were known as "free corporations";
further that York was the first masonic centre in England, largely under
the control of the Culdees, who at the same period exercised much
influence over the Masonic Collegia in Scotland, at Kilwinning, Melrose,
and Aberdeen.[270]

But it must be remembered that all this is speculation. No documentary
evidence has ever been produced to prove the existence of masonic guilds
before the famous York charter of A.D. 936, and even the date of this
document is doubtful. Only with the period of Gothic architecture do we
reach firm ground. That guilds of working masons known in France as
"Compagnonnages" and in Germany as "Steinmetzen" did then form close
corporations and possibly possess secrets connected with their
profession is more than probable. That, in consequence of their skill in
building the magnificent cathedrals of this period, they now came to
occupy a privileged position seems fairly certain.

The Abbe Grandidier, writing from Strasbourg in 1778, traces the whole
system of Freemasonry from these German guilds: "This much-vaunted
Society of Freemasons is nothing but a servile imitation of an ancient
and useful _confrerie_ of real masons whose headquarters was formerly at
Strasbourg and of which the constitution was confirmed by the Emperor
Maximilian in 1498."[271]

As far as it is possible to discover from the scanty documentary
evidence the fourteenth, fifteenth, and sixteenth centuries provide,
the same privileges appear to have been accorded to the guilds of
working masons in England and Scotland, which, although presided over by
powerful nobles and apparently on occasion admitting members from
outside the Craft, remained essentially operative bodies. Nevertheless
we find the assemblies of Masons suppressed by Act of Parliament in the
beginning of the reign of Henry VI, and later on an armed force sent by
Queen Elizabeth to break up the Annual Grand Lodge at York. It is
possible that the fraternity merely by the secrecy with which it was
surrounded excited the suspicions of authority, for nothing could be
more law-abiding than its published statutes. Masons were to be "true
men to God and the Holy Church," also to the masters that they served.
They were to be honest in their manner of life and "to do no villainy
whereby the Craft or the Science may be slandered."[272]

Yet the seventeenth-century writer Plot, in his _Natural History of
Staffordshire_, expresses some suspicion with regard to the secrets of
Freemasonry. That these could not be merely trade secrets relating to
the art of building, but that already some speculative element had been
introduced to the lodges, seems the more probable from the fact that by
the middle of the seventeenth century not only noble patrons headed the
Craft, but ordinary gentlemen entirely unconnected with building were
received into the fraternity. The well-known entry in the diary of Elias
Ashmole under the date of October 16, 1646, clearly proves this fact: "I
was made a Freemason at Warrington in Lancashire with Col. Henry
Mainwaring of Karticham [?] in Cheshire. The names of those that were
then of the Lodge, Mr. Rich. Penket, Warden, Mr. James Collier, Mr.
Rich. Sankey, Henry Littler, John Ellam, Rich. Ellam and Hugh Brewer."[273]
"It is now ascertained," says Yarker, "that the majority of the
members present were not operative masons."[274]

Again, in 1682 Ashmole relates that he attended a meeting held at Mason
Hall in London, where with a number of other gentlemen he was admitted
into "the Fellowship of the Freemasons," that is to say, into the second
degree. We have then clear proof that already in the seventeenth century
Freemasonry had ceased to be an association composed exclusively of men
concerned with building, although eminent architects ranked high in the
Order; Inigo Jones is said to have been Grand Master under James I, and
Sir Christopher Wren to have occupied the same position from about 1685
to 1702. But it was not until 1703 that the Lodge of St. Paul in London
officially announced "that the privileges of Masonry should no longer be
restricted to operative Masons, but extended to men of various
professions, provided they were regularly approved and initiated into
the Order."[275]

This was followed in 1717 by the great _coup d'etat_ when Grand Lodge
was founded, and Speculative Masonry, which we now know as Freemasonry,
was established on a settled basis with a ritual, rules, and
constitution drawn up in due form. It is at this important date that the
official history of Freemasonry begins.

But before pursuing the course of the Order through what is known as the
"Grand Lodge Era," it is necessary to go back and enquire into the
origins of the philosophy that was now combined with the system of
operative masonry. This is the point on which opinions are divided and
to which the various theories summarized in the _Masonic Cyclopcaedia_
relate. Let us examine each of these in turn.

Speculative Masonry

According to certain sceptics concerning the mysteries of Freemasonry,
the system inaugurated in 1717 had no existence before that date, but
"was devised, promulgated, and palmed upon the world by Dr. Desaguliers,
Dr. Anderson, and others, who then founded the Grand Lodge of England."
Mr. Paton, in an admirable little pamphlet,[276] has shown the futility
of this contention and also the injustice of representing the founders
of Grand Lodge as perpetrating so gross a deception.

     This 1717 theory ascribes to men of the highest character the
     invention of a system of mere imposture.... It was brought forward
     with pretensions which its framers knew to be false pretensions of
     high antiquity; whereas ... it had newly been invented in their
     studies. Is this likely? Or is it reasonable to ascribe such
     conduct to honourable men, without even assigning a probable motive
     for it?

We have indeed only to study masonic ritual--which is open to everyone
to read--in order to arrive at the same conclusion, that there could be
no motive for this imposture, and further that these two clergymen
cannot be supposed to have evolved the whole thing out of their heads.
Obviously some movement of a kindred nature must have led up to this
crisis. And since Elias Ashmole's diary clearly proves that a ceremony
of masonic initiation had existed in the preceding century, it is surely
only reasonable to conclude that Drs. Anderson and Desaguliers revised
but did not originate the ritual and constitutions drawn up by them.

Now, although the ritual of Freemasonry is couched in modern and by no
means classical English, the ideas running through it certainly bear
traces of extreme antiquity. The central idea of Freemasonry concerning
a loss which has befallen man and the hope of its ultimate recovery is
in fact no other than the ancient secret tradition described in the
first chapter of this book. Certain masonic writers indeed ascribe to
Freemasonry precisely the same genealogy as that of the early Cabala,
declaring that it descended from Adam and the first patriarchs of the
human race, and thence through groups of Wise Men amongst the Egyptians,
Chaldeans, Persians, and Greeks.[277] Mr. Albert Churchward insists
particularly on the Egyptian origin of the speculative element in
Freemasonry: "Brother Gould and other Freemasons will never understand
the meaning and origin of our sacred tenets till they have studied and
unlocked the mysteries of the past." This study will then reveal the
fact that "the Druids, the Gymnosophists of India, the Magi of Persia,
and the Chaldeans of Assyria had all the same religious rites and
ceremonies as practised by their priests who were initiated to their
Order, and that these were solemnly sworn to keep the doctrines a
profound secret from the rest of mankind. All these flowed from one

Mr. Churchward further quotes the speech of the Rev. Dr. William Dodd at
the opening of a masonic temple in 1794, who traced Freemasonry from
"the first astronomers on the plains of Chaldea, the wise and mystic
kings and priests of Egypt, the sages of Greece and philosophers of
Rome," etc.[279]

But how did these traditions descend to the masons of the West?
According to a large body of masonic opinion in this country which
recognizes only a single source of inspiration to the system we now know
as Freemasonry, the speculative as well as the operative traditions of
the Order descended from the building guilds and were imported to
England by means of the Roman Collegia. Mr. Churchward, however,
strongly dissents from this view:

     In the new and revised edition of the Perfect Ceremonies, according
     to our E. working, a theory is given that Freemasonry originated
     from certain guilds of workmen which are well known in history as
     the "Roman College of Artificers." There is no foundation of fact
     for such a theory. Freemasonry is now, and always was, an
     Eschatology, as may be proved by the whole of our signs, symbols,
     and words, and our rituals.[280]

But what Mr. Churchward fails to explain is how this eschatology reached
the working masons; moreover why, if as he asserts, it derived from
Egypt, Assyria, India, and Persia, Freemasonry no longer bears the stamp
of these countries. For although vestiges of Sabeism may be found in the
decoration of the lodges, and brief references to the mysteries of Egypt
and Phoenicia, to the secret teaching of Pythagoras, to Euclid, and to
Plato in the Ritual and instructions of the Craft degrees--nevertheless
the form in which the ancient tradition is clothed, the phraseology and
pass-words employed, are neither Egyptian, Chaldean, Greek, nor Persian,
but Judaic. Thus although some portion of the ancient secret tradition
may have penetrated to Great Britain through the Druids or the
Romans--versed in the lore of Greece and Egypt--another channel for its
introduction was clearly the Cabala of the Jews. Certain masonic writers
recognize this double tradition, the one descending from Egypt, Chaldea,
and Greece, the other from the Israelites, and assert that it is from
the latter source their system is derived.[281] For after tracing its
origin from Adam, Noah, Enoch, and Abraham, they proceed to show its
line of descent through Moses, David, and Solomon[282]--descent from
Solomon is in fact officially recognized by the Craft and forms a part
of the instructions to candidates for initiation into the first degree.
But, as we have already seen, this is the precise genealogy attributed
to the Cabala by the Jews. Moreover, modern Freemasonry is entirely
built up on the Solomonic, or rather the Hiramic legend. For the sake of
readers unfamiliar with the ritual of Freemasonry a brief _resume_ of
this "Grand Legend" must be given here.

Solomon, when building the Temple, employed the services of a certain
artificer in brass, named Hiram, the son of a widow of the tribe of
Naphthali, who was sent to him by Hiram, King of Tyre. So much we know
from the Book of Kings, but the masonic legend goes on to relate that
Hiram, the widow's son, referred to as Hiram Abiff, and described as the
master-builder, met with an untimely end. For the purpose of preserving
order the masons working on the Temple were divided into three classes,
Entered Apprentices, Fellow Crafts, and Master Masons, the first two
distinguished by different pass-words and grips and paid at different
rates of wages, the last consisting only of three persons--Solomon
himself, Hiram King of Tyre, who had provided him with wood and precious
stones and Hiram Abiff. Now, before the completion of the Temple fifteen
of the Fellow Crafts conspired together to find out the secrets of the
Master Masons and resolved to waylay Hiram Abiff at the door of the

At the last moment twelve of the fifteen drew back, but the remaining
three carried out the fell design, and after threatening Hiram in vain
in order to obtain the secrets, killed him with three blows on the head,
delivered by each in turn. They then conveyed the body away and buried
it on Mount Moriah in Jerusalem. Solomon, informed of the disappearance
of the master-builder, sent out fifteen Fellow Crafts to seek for him;
five of these, having arrived at the mountain, noticed a place where the
earth had been disturbed and there discovered the body of Hiram. Leaving
a branch of acacia to mark the spot, they returned with their story to
Solomon, who ordered them to go and exhume the body--an order that was
immediately carried out.

The murder and exhumation, or "raising," of Hiram, accompanied by
extraordinary lamentations, form the climax of Craft Masonry; and when
it is remembered that in all probability no such, tragedy ever took
place, that possibly no one known as Hiram Abiff ever existed,[283] the
whole story can only be regarded as the survival of some ancient cult
relating not to an actual event, but to an esoteric doctrine. A legend
and a ceremony of this kind is indeed to be found in many earlier
mythologies; the story of the murder of Hiram had been foreshadowed by
the Egyptian legend of the murder of Osiris and the quest for his body
by Isis, whilst the lamentations around the tomb of Hiram had a
counterpart in the mourning ceremonies for Osiris and Adonis--both, like
Hiram, subsequently "raised"--and later on in that which took place
around the catafalque of Manes, who, like Hiram, was barbarously put to
death and is said to have been known to the Manicheans as "the son of
the widow." But in the form given to it by Freemasonry the legend is
purely Judaic, and would therefore appear to have derived from the
Judaic version of the ancient tradition. The pillars of the Temple,
Jachin and Boaz, which play so important a part in Craft Masonry, are
symbols which occur in the Jewish Cabala, where they are described as
two of the ten Sephiroths.[284] A writer of the eighteenth century,
referring to "fyve curiosities" he has discovered in Scotland, describes
one as--

     The Mason word, which tho' some make a Misterie of it, I will not
     conceal a little of what I know. It is lyke a Rabbinical Tradition
     in way of Comment on Jachin and Boaz, the Two Pillars erected in
     Solomon's Temple with ane Addition delyvered from Hand to Hand, by
     which they know and become familiar one with another.[285]

This is precisely the system by which the Cabala was handed down amongst
the Jews. The _Jewish Encyclopaedia_ lends colour to the theory of
Cabalistic transmission by suggesting that the story of Hiram "may
possibly trace back to the Rabbinic legend concerning the Temple of
Solomon," that "while all the workmen were killed so that they should
not build another temple devoted to idolatry, Hiram himself was raised
to Heaven like Enoch."[286]

How did this Rabbinic legend find its way into Freemasonry? Advocates of
the Roman Collegia theory explain it in the following manner.

After the building of the Temple of Solomon the masons who had been
engaged in the work were dispersed and a number made their way to
Europe, some to Marseilles, some perhaps to Rome, where they may have
introduced Judaic legends to the Collegia, which then passed on to the
Comacini Masters of the seventh century and from these to the mediaeval
working guilds of England, France, and Germany. It is said that during
the Middle Ages a story concerning the Temple of Solomon was current
amongst the _compagnonnages_ of France. In one of these groups, known as
"the children of Solomon," the legend of Hiram appears to have existed
much in its present form; according to another group the victim of the
murder was not Hiram Abiff, but one of his companions named Maitre
Jacques, who, whilst engaged with Hiram on the construction of the
Temple, met his death at the hands of five wicked Fellow Crafts,
instigated by a sixth, the Pere Soubise.[287]

But the date at which this legend originated is unknown. Clavel thinks
that the "Hebraic mysteries" existed as early as the Roman Collegia,
which he describes as largely Judaized[288]; Yarker expresses precisely
the opposite view: "It is not so difficult to connect Freemasonry with
the Collegia; the difficulty lies in attributing Jewish traditions to
the Collegia, and we say on the evidence of the oldest charges that such
traditions had no existence in Saxon times."[289] Again: "So far as
this country is concerned, we know nothing from documents of a Masonry
dating from Solomon's Temple until after the Crusades, when the
constitution believed to have been sanctioned by King Athelstan
gradually underwent a change."[290] In a discussion which took place
recently at the Quatuor Coronati Lodge the Hiramic legend could only be
traced back--and then without absolute certainty--to the fourteenth
century, which would coincide with the date indicated by Yarker.[291]

Up to this period the lore of the masonic guilds appears to have
contained only the exoteric doctrines of Egypt and Greece--which may
have reached them through the Roman Collegia, whilst the traditions of
Masonry are traced from Adam, Jabal, Tubal Cain, from Nimrod and the
Tower of Babel, with Hermes and Pythagoras as their more immediate
progenitors.[292] These doctrines were evidently in the main geometrical
or technical, and in no sense Cabalistic. There is therefore some
justification for Eckert's statement that "the Judeo-Christian mysteries
were not yet introduced into the masonic corporations; nowhere can we
find the least trace of them. Nowhere do we find any classification, not
even that of masters, fellow-crafts, and apprentices. We observe no
symbol of the Temple of Solomon; all their symbolism relates to masonic
labours and to a few philosophical maxims of morality."[293] The date
at which Eckert, like Yarker, places the introduction of these Judaic
elements is the time of the Crusades.

But whilst recognizing that modern Craft Masonry is largely founded on
the Cabala, it is necessary to distinguish between the different
Cabalas. For by this date no less than three Cabalas appear to have
existed: firstly, the ancient secret tradition of the patriarchs handed
down from the Egyptians through the Greeks and Romans, and possibly
through the Roman Collegia to the Craft Masons of Britain; secondly, the
Jewish version of this tradition, the first Cabala of the Jews, in no
way incompatible with Christianity, descending from Moses, David and
Solomon to the Essenes and the more enlightened Jews; and thirdly, the
perverted Cabala, mingled by the Rabbis with magic, barbaric
superstitions, and--after the death of Christ--with anti-Christian

Whatever Cabalistic elements were introduced into Craft Masonry at the
time of the Crusades appear to have belonged to the second of these
traditions, the unperverted Cabala of the Jews, known to the Essenes.
There are, in fact, striking resemblances betwen Freemasonry and
Essenism--degrees of initiation, oaths of secrecy, the wearing of the
apron, and a certain masonic sign; whilst to the Sabeist traditions of
the Essenes may perhaps be traced the solar and stellar symbolism of the
lodges.[294] The Hiramic legend may have belonged to the same tradition.

The Templar Tradition

If then no documentary evidence can be brought forward to show that
either the Solomonic legend or any traces of Judaic symbolism and
traditions existed either in the monuments of the period or in the
ritual of the masons before the fourteenth century, it is surely
reasonable to recognize the plausibility of the contention put forward
by a great number of masonic writers--particularly on the
Continent--that the Judaic elements penetrated into Masonry by means of
the Templars.[295] The Templars, as we have already seen, had taken
their name from the Temple of Solomon in Jerusalem. What then more
likely than that during the time they had lived there they had learnt
the Rabbinical legends connected with the Temple? According to George
Sand, who was deeply versed in the history of secret societies, the
Hiramic legend was adopted by the Templars as symbolic of the
destruction of their Order. "They wept over their impotence in the
person of Hiram. The word lost and recovered is their empire...."[296]
The Freemason Ragon likewise declares that the catastrophe they lamented
was the catastrophe that destroyed their Order.[297] Further, the Grand
Master whose fate they deplored was Jacques du Molay. Here then we have
two bodies in France at the same period, the Templars and the
_compagnonnages_, both possessing a legend concerning the Temple of
Solomon and both mourning a Maitre Jacques who had been barbarously put
to death. If we accept the possibility that the Hiramic legend existed
amongst the masons before the Crusades, how are we to explain this
extraordinary coincidence? It is certainly easier to believe that the
Judaic traditions were introduced to the masons by the Templars and
grafted on to the ancient lore that the masonic guilds had inherited
from the Roman Collegia.

That some connexion existed between the Templars and the working masons
is indicated by the new influence that entered into building at this
period. A modern Freemason comparing "the beautifully designed and
deep-cut marks of the true Gothic period, say circa 1150-1350," with
"the careless and roughly executed marks, many of them mere scratches,
of later periods," points out that "the Knights Templars rose and fell
with that wonderful development of architecture." The same writer goes
on to show that some of the most important masonic symbols, the
equilateral triangle and the Mason's square surmounting two pillars,
came through from Gothic times.[298] Yarker asserts that the level, the
flaming star, and the Tau cross which have since passed into the
symbolism of Freemasonry may be traced to the Knights Templar, as also
the five-pointed star in Salisbury Cathedral, the double triangle in
Westminster Abbey, Jachin and Boaz, the circle and the pentagon in the
masonry of the fourteenth century. Yarker cites later, in 1556, the eye
and crescent moon, the three stars and the ladder of five steps, as
further evidences of Templar influence.[299] "The Templars were large
builders, and Jacques du Molay alleged the zeal of his Order in
decorating churches in the process against him in 1310; hence the
alleged connexion of Templary and Freemasonry is bound to have a
substratum of truth."[300]

Moreover, according to a masonic tradition, an alliance definitely took
place between the Templars and the masonic guilds at this period. During
the proceedings taken against the Order of the Temple in France it is
said that Pierre d'Aumont and seven other Knights escaped to Scotland in
the guise of working masons and landed in the Island of Mull. On St.
John's Day, 1307, they held their first chapter. Robert Bruce then took
them under his protection, and seven years later they fought under his
standard at Bannockburn against Edward II, who had suppressed their
Order in England. After this battle, which took place on St. John the
Baptist's Day in summer (June 24), Robert Bruce is said to have
instituted the Royal Order of H.R.M. (Heredom) and Knights of the
R.S.Y.C.S. (Rosy Cross).[301] These two degrees now constitute the Royal
Order of Scotland, and it seems not improbable that in reality they were
brought to Scotland by the Templars. Thus, according to one of the early
writers on Freemasonry, the degree of the Rose-Croix originated with the
Templars in Palestine as early as 1188[302]; whilst the Eastern origin
of the word Heredom, supposed to derive from a mythical mountain on an
island south of the Hebrides[303] where the Culdees practised their
rites, is indicated by another eighteenth-century writer, who traces it
to a Jewish source.[304] In this same year of 1314 Robert Bruce is said
to have united the Templars and the Royal Order of H.R.M. with the
guilds of working masons, who had also fought in his army, at the famous
Lodge of Kilwinning, founded in 1286,[305] which now added to its name
that of Heredom and became the chief seat of the Order.[306] Scotland
was essentially a home of operative masonry, and, in view of the
Templar's prowess in the art of building, what more natural than that
the two bodies should enter into an alliance? Already in England the
Temple is said between 1155 and 1199 to have administered the
Craft.[307] It is thus at Heredom of Kilwinning, "the Holy House of
Masonry"--"Mother Kilwinning," as it is still known to Freemasons--that
a speculative element of a fresh kind may have found its way into the
lodges. Is it not here, then, that we may see that "fruitful union
between the professional guild of mediaeval masons and a secret group of
philosophical Adepts" alluded to by Count Goblet d'Aviella and described
by Mr. Waite in the following words:

     The mystery of the building guilds--whatever it may be held to have
     been--was that of a simple, unpolished, pious, and utilitarian
     device; and this daughter of Nature, in the absence of all
     intention on her own part, underwent, or was coerced into one of
     the strangest marriages which has been celebrated in occult
     history. It so happened that her particular form and figure lent
     itself to such a union, etc.[308]?

Mr. Waite with his usual vagueness does not explain when and where this
marriage took place, but the account would certainly apply to the
alliance between the Templars and Scottish guilds of working masons,
which, as we have seen, is admitted by masonic authorities, and presents
exactly the conditions described, the Templars being peculiarly fitted
by their initiation into the legend concerning the building of the
Temple of Solomon to co-operate with the masons, and the masons being
prepared by their partial initiation into ancient mysteries to receive
the fresh influx of Eastern tradition from the Templars.

A further indication of the Templar influence in Craft Masonry is the
system of degrees and initiations. The names of Entered Apprentice,
Fellow Craft, and Master Mason are said to have derived from
Scotland,[309] and the analogy between these and the degrees of the
Assassins has already been shown. Indeed, the resemblance between the
outer organization of Freemasonry and the system of the Ismailis is
shown by many writers. Thus Dr. Bussell observes: "No doubt together
with some knowledge of geometry regarded as an esoteric trade secret,
many symbols to-day current did pass down from very primitive times. But
a more certain model was the Grand Lodge of the Ismailis in Cairo"--that
is to say the Dar-ul-Hikmat.[310] Syed Ameer Ali also expresses the
opinion that "Makrisi's account of the different degrees of initiation
adopted in this lodge forms an invaluable record of Freemasonry. In
fact, the lodge at Cairo became the model of all the Lodges created
afterwards in Christendom."[311] Mr. Bernard Springett, a Freemason,
quoting this passage, adds: "In this last assertion I am myself greatly
in agreement."[312]

It is surely therefore legitimate to surmise that this system penetrated
to Craft Masonry through the Templars, whose connexion with the
Assassins--offshoot of the Dar-ul-Hikmat--was a matter of common

The question of the Templar succession in Freemasonry forms perhaps the
most controversial point in the whole history of the Roman Collegia
theory, Continental Masons more generally accepting it, and even
glorying in it.[313] Mackey, in his _Lexicon of Freemasonry_, thus sums
up the matter:

     The connexion between the Knights Templar and the Freemasons has
     been repeatedly asserted by the enemies of both institutions, and
     has often been admitted by their friends. Lawrie, on this subject,
     holds the following language: "We know that the Knights Templar not
     only possessed the mysteries but performed the ceremonies and
     inculcated the duties of Freemasons," and he attributes the
     dissolution of the Order to the discovery of their being Freemasons
     and their assembling in secret to practise the rites of the

This explains why Freemasons have always shown indulgence to the

     It was above all Freemasonry [says Findel], which--because it
     falsely held itself to be a daughter of Templarism--took the
     greatest pains to represent the Order of the Templars as innocent
     and therefore free from all mystery. For this purpose not only
     legends and unhistorical facts were brought forward, but
     manoeuvres were also resorted to in order to suppress the truth.
     The masonic reverers of the Temple Order bought up the whole
     edition of the _Actes du Proces_ of Moldenhawer, because this
     showed the guilt of the Order; only a few copies reached the
     booksellers.... Already several decades before ... the Freemasons
     in their unhistorical efforts had been guilty of real forgery.
     Dupuy had published his _History of the Trial of the Templars_ as
     early as 1654 in Paris, for which he had made use of the original
     of the _Actes du Proces_, according to which the guilt of the Order
     leaves no room for doubt.... But when in the middle of the
     eighteenth century several branches of Freemasonry wished to recall
     the Templar Order into being, the work of Dupuy was naturally very
     displeasing. It had already been current amongst the public for a
     hundred years, so it could no longer be bought; therefore they
     falsified it.[315]

Accordingly in 1751 a reprint of Dupuy's work appeared with the addition
of a number of notes and remarks and mutilated in such a way as to prove
not the guilt but the innocence of the Templars.

Now, although British Masonry has played no part in these intrigues, the
question of the Templar succession has been very inadequately dealt with
by the masonic writers of our country. As a rule they have adopted one
of two courses--either they have persistently denied connexion with the
Templars or they have represented them as a blameless and cruelly
maligned Order. But in reality neither of these expedients is necessary
to save the honour of British Masonry, for not even the bitterest enemy
of Masonry has ever suggested that British masons have adopted any
portion of the Templar heresy. The Knights who fled to Scotland may have
been perfectly innocent of the charges brought against their Order;
indeed, there is good reason to believe this was the case. Thus the
_Manuel des Chevaliers de l'Ordre du Temple_ relates the incident in the
following manner:

     After the death of Jacques du Molay, some Scottish Templars having
     become apostates, at the instigation of Robert Bruce ranged
     themselves under the banners of a new Order[316] instituted by this
     prince and in which the receptions were based on those of the Order
     of the Temple. It is there that we must seek the origin of Scottish
     Masonry and even that of the other masonic rites. The Scottish
     Templars were excommunicated in 1324 by Larmenius, who declared
     them to be _Templi desertores_ and the Knights of St. John of
     Jerusalem, _Dominiorum Militiae spoliatores_, placed for ever
     outside the pale of the Temple: _Extra girum Templi, nunc et in
     futurum, volo, dico et jubeo._ A similar anathema has since been
     launched by several Grand Masters against Templars who were
     rebellious to legitimate authority. From the schism that was
     introduced into Scotland a number of sects took birth.[317]

This account forms a complete exoneration of the Scottish Templars; as
apostates from the bogus Christian Church and the doctrines of Johannism
they showed themselves loyal to the true Church and to the Christian
faith as formulated in the published statutes of their Order. What they
appear, then, to have introduced to Masonry was their manner of
reception, that is to say their outer forms and organization, and
possibly certain Eastern esoteric doctrines and Judaic legends
concerning the building of the Temple of Solomon in no way incompatible
with the teaching of Christianity.

It will be noticed, moreover, that in the ban passed by the _Ordre du
Temple_ on the Scottish Templars the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem
are also included. This is a further tribute to the orthodoxy of the
Scottish Knights. For to the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem--to whom
the Templar property was given--no suspicion of heresy had ever
attached. After the suppression of the Order of the Temple in 1312 a
number of the Knights joined themselves to the Knights of St. John of
Jerusalem, by whom the Templar system appears to have been purged of its
heretical elements. As we shall see later, the same process is said to
have been carried out by the Royal Order of Scotland, All this suggests
that the Templars had imported a secret doctrine from the East which was
capable either of a Christian or an anti-Christian interpretation, that
through their connexion with the Royal Order of Scotland and the Knights
of St. John of Jerusalem this Christian interpretation was preserved,
and finally that it was this pure doctrine which passed into
Freemasonry. According to early masonic authorities, the adoption of the
two St. Johns as the patron saints of Masonry arose, not from Johannism,
but from the alliance between the Templars and the Knights of St. John
of Jerusalem.[318]

It is important to remember that the theory of the Templar connexion
with Freemasonry was held by the Continental Freemasons of the
eighteenth century, who, living at the time the Order was reconstituted
on its present basis, were clearly in a better position to know its
origins than we who are separated from that date by a distance of two
hundred years. But since their testimony first comes to light at the
period of the upper degrees, in which the Templar influence is more
clearly visible than in Craft Masonry, it must be reserved for a later
chapter. Before passing on to this further stage in the history of the
Craft, it is necessary to consider one more link in the chain of the
masonic tradition--the "Holy Vehm."

The Vehmgerichts[319]

These dread tribunals, said to have been established by Charlemagne in
772[320] in Westphalia, had for their avowed object the establishment of
law and order amidst the unsettled and even anarchic conditions that
then reigned in Germany. But by degrees the power arrogated to itself by
the "Holy Vehm" became so formidable that succeeding emperors were
unable to control its workings and found themselves forced to become
initiates from motives of self-protection. During the twelfth century
the Vehmgerichts, by their continual executions, had created a veritable
"Red Terror," so that the East of Germany was known as the Red Land. In
1371, says Lecouteulx de Canteleu, a fresh impetus was given to the
"Holy Vehm" by a number of the Knights Templar who, on the dissolution
of their Order, had found their way to Germany and now sought admission
to the Secret Tribunals.[321] How much of Templar lore passed into the
hand of the Vehmgerichts it is impossible to know, but there is
certainly a resemblance between the methods of initiation and
intimidation employed by the Vehms and those described by certain of the
Templars, still more between the ceremony of the Vehms and the ritual of

Thus the members of the Vehms, known as the _Wissende_ (or Enlightened),
were divided into three degrees of initiation: the Free Judges, the
veritable Free Judges, and the Holy Judges of the Secret Tribunal. The
candidate for initiation was led blindfold before the dread Tribunal,
presided over by a _Stuhlherr_ (or master of the chair) or his
substitute, a _Freigraf_, with a sword and branch of willow at his side.
The initiate was then bound by a terrible oath not to reveal the secrets
of the "Holy Vehm," to warn no one of danger threatening them by its
decrees, to denounce anyone, whether father, mother, brother, sister,
friend, or relation, if such a one had been condemned by the Tribunal.
After this he was given the password and grip by which the confederates
recognized each other. In the event of his turning traitor or revealing
the secrets confided to him his eyes were bandaged, his hands tied
behind his back, and his tongue was torn out through the back of his
neck, after which he was hanged by the feet till he was dead, with the
solemn imprecation that his body should be given as a prey to the birds
of the air.

It is difficult to believe that the points of resemblance with modern
masonic ritual[322] which may here be discerned can be a mere matter of
coincidence, yet it would be equally unreasonable to trace the origins
of Freemasonry to the Vehmgerichts. Clearly both derived from a common
source, either the old pagan traditions on which the early Vehms were
founded or the system of the Templars. The latter seems the more
probable for two reasons: firstly, on account of the resemblance between
the methods of the Vehmgerichts and the Assassins, which would be
explained if the Templars formed the connecting link; and secondly, the
fact that in contemporary documents the members of the Secret Tribunals
were frequently referred to under the name of Rose-Croix.[323] Now,
since, as we have seen, the degree of the Rosy Cross is said to have
been brought to Europe by the Templars, this would account for the
persistence of the name in the Vehmgerichts as well as in the
Rosicrucians of the seventeenth century, who are said to have continued
the Templar tradition. Thus Templarism and Rosicrucianism appear to have
been always closely connected, a fact which is not surprising since both
derive from a common source--the traditions of the near East.

This brings us to an alternative theory concerning the channel through
which Eastern doctrines, and particularly Cabalism, found their way into
Freemasonry. For it must be admitted that one obstacle to the complete
acceptance of the theory of the Templar succession exists, namely, that
although the Judaic element cannot be traced further back than the
Crusades, neither can it with certainty be pronounced to have come into
existence during the three centuries that followed after. Indeed, before
the publication of Anderson's "Constitutions" in 1723 there is no
definite evidence that the Solomonic legend had been incorporated into
the ritual of British Masonry. So although the possession of the legend
by the _compagnonnages_ of the Middle Ages would tend to prove its
antiquity, there is always the possibility that it was introduced by
some later body of adepts than the Templars. According to the partisans
of a further theory, these adepts were the Rosicrucians.

Rosicrucian Origin

One of the earliest and most eminent precursors of Freemasonry is said
to have been Francis Bacon. As we have already seen, Bacon is recognized
to have been a Rosicrucian, and that the secret philosophical doctrine
he professed was closely akin to Freemasonry is clearly apparent in his
_New Atlantis_. The reference to the "Wise Men of the Society of
Solomon's House" cannot be a mere coincidence. The choice of
Atlantis--the legendary island supposed to have been submerged by the
Atlantic Ocean in the remote past--would suggest that Bacon had some
knowledge of a secret tradition descending from the earliest patriarchs
of the human race, whom, like the modern writer Le Plongeon, he imagined
to have inhabited the Western hemisphere and to have been the
predecessors of the Egyptian initiates. Le Plongeon, however, places
this early seat of the mysteries still further West than the Atlantic
Ocean, in the region of Mayax and Yucatan.[324]

Bacon further relates that this tradition was preserved in its pure form
by certain of the Jews, who, whilst accepting the Cabala, rejected its
anti-Christian tendencies. Thus in this island of Bensalem there are
Jews "of a far differing disposition from the Jews in other parts. For
whereas they hate the name of Christ, and have a secret inbred rancour
against the people amongst whom they live; these contrariwise give unto
our Saviour many high attributes," but at the same time they believe
"that Moses by a secret Cabala ordained the laws of Bensalem which they
now use, and that when the Messiah should come and sit on His throne at
Jerusalem, the King of Bensalem should sit at His feet, whereas other
kings should keep at a great distance." This passage is of particular
interest as showing that Bacon recognized the divergence between the
ancient secret tradition descending from Moses and the perverted Jewish
Cabala of the Rabbis, and that he was perfectly aware of the tendency
even among the best of Jews to turn the former to the advantage of the
Messianic dreams.

Mrs. Pott, who in her _Francis Bacon and his Secret Society_ sets out to
prove that Bacon was the founder of Rosicrucianism and Freemasonry,
ignores all the previous history of the secret tradition. Bacon was not
the originator but the inheritor of the ideas on which both these
societies were founded. And the further contention that Bacon was at the
same time the author of the greatest dramas in the English language and
of _The Chymical Marriage of Christian Rosengreutz_ is manifestly
absurd. Nevertheless, Bacon's influence amongst the Rosicrucians is
apparent; Heydon's _Voyage to the Land of the Rosicrucians_ is in fact a
mere plagiarism of Bacon's _New Atlantis_.

Mrs. Pott seems to imagine that by proclaiming Bacon to have been the
founder or even a member of the Order of Freemasonry she is revealing a
great masonic secret which Freemasons have conspired to keep dark. But
why should the Craft desire to disown so illustrious a progenitor or
seek to conceal his connexion with the Order if any such existed?
Findel, indeed, frankly admits that the _New Atlantis_ contained
unmistakable allusions to Freemasonry and that Bacon contributed to its
final transformation.[325] This was doubtless brought about largely by
the English Rosicrucians who followed after. To suggest then that
Freemasonry originated with the Rosicrucians is to ignore the previous
history of the secret tradition. Rosicrucianism was not the beginning
but a link in the long chain connecting Freemasonry with far earlier
secret associations. The resemblance between the two Orders admits of no
denial. Thus Yarker writes: "The symbolic tracing of the Rosicrucians
was a Square Temple approached by seven steps ... here also we find the
two pillars of Hermes, the five-pointed star, sun and moon, compasses,
square and triangle." Yarker further observes that "even Wren was more
or less a student of Hermeticism, and if we had a full list of
Freemasons and Rosicrucians we should probably be surprised at the
numbers who belonged to both systems."[326]

Professor Buhle emphatically states that "Freemasonry is neither more
nor less than Rosicrucianism as modified by those who transplanted it
into England." Chambers, who published his famous _Cyclopaedia_ in 1728,
observes: "Some who are no friends to Freemasonry, make the present
flourishing society of Freemasons a branch of _Rosicrucians_, or rather
the Rosicrucians themselves under a new name or relation, viz. as
retainers to building. And it is certain there are some Freemasons who
have all the characters of Rosicrucians."

The connexion between Freemasonry and Rosicrucianism is, however, a
question hardly less controversial than that of the connexion between
Freemasonry and Templarism.

Dr. Mackey violently disputes the theory. "The Rosicrucians," he writes,
"as this brief history indicates, had no connexion whatever with the
masonic fraternity. Notwithstanding this fact, Barruel, the most
malignant of our revilers, with a characteristic spirit of
misrepresentation, attempted to identify the two institutions."[327]
But the aforesaid "brief history" indicates nothing of the kind, and the
reference to Barruel as a malignant reviler for suggesting a connexion,
which, as we have seen, many Freemasons admit, shows on which side this
"spirit of misrepresentation" exists. It is interesting, however, to
note that in the eyes of certain masonic writers connexion with the
Rosicrucians is regarded as highly discreditable; the fraternity would
thus appear to have been less blameless than we have been taught to
believe. Mr. Waite is equally concerned with proving that there "is no
traceable connexion between Masonry and Rosicrucianism," and he goes on
to explain that Freemasonry was never a learned society, that it never
laid claim to "any transcendental secrets of alchemy and magic, or to
any skill in medicine," etc.[328]

The truth may lie between the opposing contentions of Prof. Buhle and
his two masonic antagonists. The Freemasons were clearly, for the
reasons given by Mr. Waite, not a mere continuation of the Rosicrucians,
but more likely borrowed from the Rosicrucians a part of their system
and symbols which they adapted to their own purpose. Moreover, the
incontrovertible fact is that in the list of English Freemasons and
Rosicrucians we find men who belonged to both Orders and amongst these
two who contributed largely to the constitutions of English Freemasonry.

The first of these is Robert Fludd, whom Mr. Waite describes as "the
central figure of Rosicrucian literature, ... an intellectual giant, ...
a man of immense erudition, of exalted mind, and, to judge by his
writings, of extreme personal sanctity. Ennemoser describes him as one
of the most distinguished disciples of Paracelsus...."[329] Yarker adds
this clue: "In 1630 we find Fludd, the chief of the Rosicrucians, using
architectural language, and there is proof that his Society was divided
into degrees, and from the fact that the Masons' Company of London had
a copy of the Masonic Charges 'presented by Mr. fflood' we may suppose
that he was a Freemason before 1620."[330]

A still more important link is Elias Ashmole, the antiquary, astrologer,
and alchemist, founder of the Ashmolean Museum at Oxford, who was born
in 1617. An avowed Rosicrucian, and as we have seen, also a Freemason,
Ashmole displayed great energy in reconstituting the Craft; he is said
to have perfected its organization, to have added to it further mystic
symbols, and according to Ragon, it was he who drew up the ritual of the
existing three Craft degrees--Entered Apprentice, Fellow-Craft, and
Master Mason--which was adopted by Grand Lodge in 1717. Whence did these
fresh inspirations come but from the Rosicrucians? For, as Ragon also
informs us, in the year that Ashmole was received into Freemasonry the
Rosicrucians held their meeting in the same room at Mason Hall![331]

How, then, can it be said that there was "no traceable connexion between
Freemasonry and Rosicrucianism?" and why should it be the part of a
"malignant reviler" to connect them? It is not suggested that
Rosicrucians, such as Fludd or Ashmole, imported any magical elements
into Freemasonry, but simply the system and symbols of the Rose-Croix
with a certain degree of esoteric learning. That Rosicrucianism forms an
important link in the chain of the secret tradition is therefore

The Seventeenth-Century Rabbis

There is, however, a third channel through which the Judaic legends of
Freemasonry may have penetrated to the Craft, namely, the Rabbis of the
seventeenth century. The Jewish writer Bernard Lazare has declared that
"there were Jews around the cradle of Freemasonry,"[332] and if this
statement is applied to the period preceding the institution of Grand
Lodge in 1717 it certainly finds confirmation in fact. Thus it is said
that in the preceding century the coat-of-arms now used by Grand Lodge
had been designed by an Amsterdam Jew, Jacob Jehuda Leon Templo,
colleague of Cromwell's friend the Cabalist, Manasseh ben Israel.[333]
To quote Jewish authority on this question, Mr. Lucien Wolf writes that
Templo "had a monomania for ... everything relating to the Temple of
Solomon and the Tabernacle of the Wilderness. He constructed gigantic
models of both these edifices."[334] These he exhibited in London,
which he visited in 1675 and earlier, and it seems not unreasonable to
conclude that this may have provided a fresh source of inspiration to
the Freemasons who framed the masonic ritual some forty years later. At
any rate, the masonic coat-of-arms still used by Grand Lodge of England
is undoubtedly of Jewish design.

"This coat," says Mr. Lucien Wolf, "is entirely composed of Jewish
symbols," and is "an attempt to display heraldically the various forms
of the Cherubim pictured to us in the second vision of Ezekiel--an Ox, a
Man, a Lion, and an Eagle--and thus belongs to the highest and most
mystical domain of Hebrew symbolism."[335]

In other words, this vision, known to the Jews as the "Mercaba,"[336]
belongs to the Cabala, where a particular interpretation is placed on
each figure so as to provide an esoteric meaning not perceptible to the
uninitiated.[337] The masonic coat-of-arms is thus entirely Cabalistic;
as is also the seal on the diplomas of Craft Masonry, where another
Cabalistic figure, that of a man and woman combined, is reproduced.[338]

Of the Jewish influence in Masonry after 1717 I shall speak later.

To sum up, then, the origins of the system we now know as Freemasonry
are not to be found in one source alone. The twelve alternative sources
enumerated in the _Masonic Cyclopaedia_ and quoted at the beginning of
this chapter may all have contributed to its formation. Thus Operative
Masonry may have descended from the Roman Collegia and through the
operative masons of the Middle Ages, whilst Speculative Masonry may have
derived from the patriarchs and the mysteries of the pagans. But the
source of inspiration which admits of no denial is the Jewish Cabala.
Whether this penetrated to our country through the Roman Collegia, the
_compagnonnages_, the Templars, the Rosicrucians, or through the Jews of
the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, whose activities behind the
scenes of Freemasonry we shall see later, is a matter of speculation.
The fact remains that when the ritual and constitutions of Masonry were
drawn up in 1717, although certain fragments of the ancient Egyptian and
Pythagorean doctrines were retained, the Judaic version of the secret
tradition was the one selected by the founders of Grand Lodge on which
to build up their system.



Whatever were the origins of the Order we now know as Freemasonry, it is
clear that during the century preceding its reorganization under Grand
Lodge of London the secret system of binding men together for a common
purpose, based on Eastern esoteric doctrines, had been anticipated by
the Rosicrucians. Was this secret system employed, however by any other
body of men? It is certainly easy to imagine how in this momentous
seventeenth century, when men of all opinions were coalescing against
opposing forces--Lutherans combining against the Papacy, Catholics
rallying their forces against invading Protestantism, Republicans
plotting in favour of Cromwell, Royalists in their turn plotting to
restore the Stuarts, finally Royalists plotting against each other on
behalf of rival dynasties--an organization of this kind, enabling one to
work secretly for a cause and to set invisibly vast numbers of human
beings in motion, might prove invaluable to any party.

Thus, according to certain masonic writers on the Continent, the system
used by the Rosicrucians in their fight against "Popery" was also
employed by the Jesuits for a directly opposite purpose. In the
manuscripts of the Prince of Hesse published by Lecouteulx de Canteleu
it is declared that in 1714 the Jesuits used the mysteries of the
Rose-Croix. Mirabeau also relates that "the Jesuits profited by the
internal troubles of the reign of Charles I to possess themselves of the
symbols, the allegories, and the carpets (tapis) of the Rose-Croix
masons, who were only the ancient order of the Templars secretly
perpetuated. It may be seen by means of what imperceptible innovations
they succeeded in substituting their catechism to the instruction of the

Other Continental writers again assert that Cromwell, the arch-opponent
of the Catholic Church, was "a higher initiate of masonic mysteries,"
and used the system for his own elevation to power[340]; further, that
he found himself outdistanced by the Levellers; that this sect, whose
name certainly suggests masonic inspiration, adopted for its symbols the
square and compass,[341] and in its claim of real equality threatened
the supremacy of the usurper. Finally, Elias Ashmole, the Rosicrucian
Royalist, is said to have turned the masonic system against Cromwell, so
that towards the end of the seventeenth century the Order rallied to the
Stuart cause.[342]

But all this is pure speculation resting on no basis of known facts. The
accusation that the Jesuits used the system of the Rose-Croix as a cover
to political intrigues is referred to by the Rosicrucian Eliphas Levi as
the outcome of ignorance, which "refutes itself." It is significant to
notice that it emanates mainly from Germany and from the Illuminati; the
Prince of Hesse was a member of the _Stricte Observance_ and Mirabeau an
Illuminatus at the time he wrote the passage quoted above. That in the
seventeenth century certain Jesuits played the part of political
intriguers I suppose their warmest friends will hardly deny, but that
they employed any secret or masonic system seems to me perfectly
incapable of proof. I shall return to this point later, however, in
connexion with the Illuminati.

As to Cromwell, the only circumstance that lends any colour to the
possibility of his connexion with Freemasonry is his known friendship
for Manasseh ben Israel, the colleague of the Rabbi Templo who designed
the coat-of-arms later adopted by Grand Lodge. If, therefore, the Jews
of Amsterdam were a source of inspiration to the Freemasons of the
seventeenth century, it is not impossible that Cromwell may have been
the channel through which this influence first penetrated.

In the matter of the Stuarts we are, however, on firm ground with regard
to Freemasonry. That the lodges at the end of the seventeenth century
were Royalist is certain, and there seems good reason to believe that,
when the revolution of 1688 divided the Royalist cause, the Jacobites
who fled to France with James II took Freemasonry with them.[343] With
the help of the French they established lodges in which, it is said,
masonic rites and symbols were used to promote the cause of the Stuarts.
Thus the land of promise signified Great Britain, Jerusalem stood for
London, and the murder of Hiram represented the execution of Charles

Meanwhile Freemasonry in England did not continue to adhere to the
Stuart cause as it had done under the aegis of Elias Ashmole, and by 1717
is said to have become Hanoverian.

From this important date the official history of the present system may
be said to begin; hitherto everything rests on stray documents, of which
the authenticity is frequently doubtful, and which provide no continuous
history of the Order. In 1717 for the first time Freemasonry was
established on a settled basis and in the process underwent a
fundamental change. So far it would seem to have retained an operative
element, but in the transformation that now took place this was entirely
eliminated, and the whole Order was transformed into a middle-and
upper-class speculative body. This _coup d'etat_, already suggested in
1703, took place in 1716, when four London lodges of Freemasons met
together at the Apple Tree Tavern in Charles Street, Covent Garden, "and
having put into the chair the oldest Master Mason (now the Master of a
lodge), they constituted themselves a Grand Lodge, _pro tempore_, in due
form." On St. John the Baptist's Day, June 24 of the next year, the
annual assembly and banquet were held at the Goose and Gridiron in St.
Paul's Churchyard, when Mr. Antony Sayer was elected Grand Master and
invested with all the badges of office.[345]

It is evident from the above account that already in 1717 the
speculative elements must have predominated in the lodges, otherwise we
might expect to find the operative masons taking some part in these
proceedings and expressing their opinion as to whether their association
should pass under the control of men entirely unconnected with the
Craft. But no, the leaders of the new movement all appear to have
belonged to the middle class, nor from this moment do either masons or
architects seem to have played any prominent part in Freemasonry.

But the point that official history does not attempt to elucidate is
the reason for this decision. Why should the Freemasons of
London--whether they were at this date a speculative or only a
semi-speculative association--have suddenly recognized the necessity of
establishing a Grand Lodge and drawing up a ritual and "Constitution"?
It is evident, then, that some circumstances must have arisen which led
them to take this important step. I would suggest that the following may
be the solution to the problem.

Freemasonry, as we have seen, was a system that could be employed in any
cause and had now come to be used by intriguers of every kind--and not
only by intriguers, but by merely convivial bodies, "jolly Brotherhoods
of the Bottle," who modelled themselves on masonic associations.[346]
But the honest citizens of London who met and feasted at the Goose and
Gridiron were clearly not intriguers, they were neither Royalist nor
Republican plotters, neither Catholic nor Lutheran fanatics, neither
alchemists nor magicians, nor can it be supposed that they were simply
revellers. If they were political, they were certainly not supporters of
the Stuarts; on the contrary, they were generally reported to have been
Hanoverian in their sympathies, indeed Dr. Bussell goes so far as to say
that Grand Lodge was instituted to support the Hanoverian dynasty.[347]
It would be perhaps nearer the truth to conclude that if they were
Hanoverian it was because they were constitutional, and the Hanoverian
dynasty having now been established they wished to avoid further
changes. In a word, then, they were simply men of peace, anxious to put
an end to dissensions, who, seeing the system of Masonry utilized for
the purpose of promoting discord, determined to wrest it from the hands
of political intriguers and restore it to its original character of
brotherhood, though not of brotherhood between working masons only, but
between men drawn from all classes and professions. By founding a Grand
Lodge in London and drawing up a ritual and "Constitutions," they hoped
to prevent the perversion of their signs and symbols and to establish
the Order on a settled basis.

According to Nicolai this pacific purpose had already animated English
Freemasons under the Grand Mastership of Sir Christopher Wren: "Its
principal object from this period was to moderate the religious hatreds
so terrible in England during the reign of James II and to try and
establish some kind of concord or fraternity, by weakening as far as
possible the antagonisms arising from the differences of religions,
ranks, and interests." An eighteenth-century manuscript of the Prince of
Hesse quoted by Lecouteulx de Canteleu expresses the view that in 1717
"_the mysteries of Freemasonry were reformed and purified in England of
all political tendencies_."

In the matter of religion, Craft Masonry adopted an equally
non-sectarian attitude. The first "Constitutions" of the Order, drawn up
by Dr. Anderson in 1723, contain the following paragraph:

     Concerning God and Religion

     A Mason is obliged, by his tenure, to obey the moral Law; and if he
     rightly understands the Art, he will never be a stupid Atheist, nor
     an irreligious Libertine. But though in ancient Times Masons were
     charged in every Country to be of the Religion of that Country or
     Nation, whatever it was, yet, 'tis now thought more expedient only
     to oblige them to that Religion in which all men agree, leaving
     their particular Opinions to themselves; that is to be good Men and
     true, or Men of Honour and Honesty, by whatever Denominations or
     Persuasions they may be distinguish'd; whereby Masonry becomes the
     Centre of Union and the Means of Conciliating true Friendship among
     Persons that must have remained at a perpetual Distance.

The phrase "that Religion in which all men agree" has been censured by
Catholic writers as advocating a universal religion in the place of
Christianity. But this by no means follows. The idea is surely that
Masons should be men adhering to that law of right and wrong common to
all religious faiths. Craft Masonry may thus be described as Deist in
character, but not in the accepted sense of the word which implies the
rejection of Christian doctrines. If Freemasonry had been Deist in this
sense might we not expect to find some connexion between the founders of
Grand Lodge and the school of Deists--Toland, Bolingbroke, Woolston,
Hume, and others--which flourished precisely at this period? Might not
some analogy be detected between the organization of the Order and the
Sodalities described in Toland's _Pantheisticon_, published in 1720? But
of this I can find no trace whatever. The principal founders of Grand
Lodge were, as we have seen, clergymen, both engaged in preaching
Christian doctrines at their respective churches.[348] It is surely
therefore reasonable to conclude that Freemasonry at the time of its
reorganization in 1717 was Deistic only in so far that it invited men to
meet together on the common ground of a belief in God. Moreover, some of
the early English rituals contain distinctly Christian elements. Thus
both in _Jachin and Boaz_ (1762) and _Hiram or the Grand Master Key to
the Door of both Antient and Modern Freemasonry by a Member of the Royal
Arch_ (1766) we find prayers in the lodges concluding with the name of
Christ. These passages were replaced much later by purely Deistic
formulas under the Grand Mastership of the free-thinking Duke of Sussex
in 1813.

But in spite of its innocuous character, Freemasonry, merely by reason
of its secrecy, soon began to excite alarm in the public mind. As early
as 1724 a work entitled _The Grand Mystery of the Freemasons Discovered_
had provoked an angry remonstrance from the Craft[349]; and when the
French edict against the Order was passed, a letter signed "Jachin"
appeared in _The Gentleman's Magazine_ declaring the "Freemasons who
have lately been suppressed not only in France but in Holland" to be "a
dangerous Race of Men":

     No Government ought to suffer such clandestine Assemblies where
     Plots against the State may be carried on, under the Pretence of
     Brotherly Love and good Fellowship.

The writer, evidently unaware of possible Templar traditions, goes on to
observe that the sentinel placed at the door of the lodge with a drawn
sword in his hand "is not the only mark of their being a military
Order"; and suggests that the title of Grand Master is taken in
imitation of the Knights of Malta. "Jachin," moreover, scents a Popish

     They not only admit Turks, Jews, Infidels, but even Jacobites,
     non-jurors and Papists themselves ... how can we be sure that
     those Persons who are known to be well affected, are let into all
     their Mysteries? They make no scruple to acknowledge that there is
     a Distinction between Prentices and Master Masons and who knows
     whether they may not have an higher Order of Cabalists, who keep
     the Grand Secret of all entirely to themselves?[350]

Later on in France, the Abbe Perau published his satires on Freemasonry,
_Le Secret des Francs-Macons_ (1742), _L'Ordre des Francs-Macons trahi
et le Secret des Mopses revele_, (1745), and _Les Francs-Macons ecrases_
(1746)[351] and in about 1761 another English writer said to be a Mason
brought down a torrent of invective on his head by the publication of
the ritual of the Craft Degrees under the name of _Jachin and

It must be admitted that from all this controversy no party emerges in a
very charitable light, Catholics and Protestants alike indulging in
sarcasms and reckless accusations against Freemasonry, the Freemasons
retorting with far from brotherly forbearance.[353] But, again, one must
remember that all these men were of their age--an age which seen through
the eyes of Hogarth would certainly not appear to have been
distinguished for delicacy. It should be noted, however, when one reads
in masonic works of the "persecutions" to which Freemasonry has been
subjected, that aggression was not confined only to the one side in the
conflict; moreover, that the Freemasons at this period were divided
amongst themselves and expressed with regard to opposing groups much the
same suspicions that non-Masons expressed with regard to the Order as a
whole. For the years following after the suppression of Masonry in
France were marked by the most important development in the history of
the modern Order--the inauguration of the Additional Degrees.

The Additional Degrees

The origin and inspiration of the additional degrees has provoked hardly
less controversy in masonic circles than the origin of Masonry itself.
It should be explained that Craft Masonry, or Blue Masonry--that is to
say, the first three degrees of Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft, and
Master Mason of which I have attempted to trace the history--were the
only degrees recognized by Grand Lodge at the time of its foundation in
1717 and still form the basis of all forms of modern Masonry. On this
foundation were erected, somewhere between 1740 and 1743, the degree of
the Royal Arch and the first of the series of upper degrees now known as
the Scottish Rite or as the Ancient and Accepted Rite. The acceptance or
rejection of this superstructure has always formed a subject of violent
controversy between Masons, one body affirming that Craft Masonry is the
only true and genuine Masonry, the other declaring that the real object
of Masonry is only to be found in the higher degrees. It was this
controversy, centring round the Royal Arch degree, that about the middle
of the eighteenth century split Masonry into opposing camps of Ancients
and Moderns, the Ancients declaring that the R.A. was "the Root, Heart,
and Marrow of Freemasonry,"[354] the Moderns rejecting it. Although
worked by the Ancients from 1756 onwards, this degree was definitely
repudiated by Grand Lodge in 1792,[355] and only in 1813 was officially
received into English Freemasonry.

The R.A. degree, which is said nevertheless to be contained in embryo in
the 1723 Book of Constitutions,[356] is purely Judaic--a glorification
of Israel and commemorating the building of the second Temple. That it
was derived from the Jewish Cabala seems probable, and Yarker,
commenting on the phrase in the _Gentleman's Magazine_ quoted
above--"Who knows whether they (the Freemasons) have not a higher order
of Cabalists, who keep the Grand Secret of all entirely to
themselves"--observes: "It looks very like an intimation of the Royal
Arch degree,"[357] and elsewhere he states that "the Royal Arch degree,
when it had the Three Veils, must have been the work, even if by
instruction, of a Cabalistic Jew about 1740, and from this time we may
expect to find a secret tradition grafted upon Anderson's system."[358]

Precisely in this same year of 1740 Mr. Waite says that "an itinerant
pedlar of the Royal Arch degree is said to have propagated it in
Ireland, claiming that it was practised at York and London,"[359] and
in 1744 a certain Dr. Dassigny wrote that the minds of the Dublin
brethren had been lately disturbed about Royal Arch Masonry owing to the
activities in Dublin of "a number of traders or hucksters in pretended
Masonry," whom the writer connects with "Italians" or the "Italic

A Freemason quoting this passage in a recent discussion on the upper
degrees expresses the opinion that these hucksters were "Jacobite
emissaries disguised under the form of a pretended Masonry," and that
"by Italians and Italian Order he intends a reference to the Court of
King James III, i.e. the Old Pretender at Rome, and to the Ecossais
(Italic) Order of Masonry."[360] It is much more likely that he had
referred to another source of masonic instruction in Italy which I shall
indicate in a later chapter.

But precisely at the moment when it is suggested that the Jacobites were
intriguing to introduce the Royal Arch degree into Masonry they are also
said to have been engaged in elaborating the "Scottish Rite." Let us
examine this contention.

Freemasonry in France

The foundation of Grand Lodge in London had been followed by the
inauguration of Masonic Lodges on the Continent--in 1721 at Mons, in
1725 in Paris, in 1728 at Madrid, in 1731 at The Hague, in 1733 at
Hamburg, etc. Several of these received their warrant from the Grand
Lodge of England. But this was not the case with the Grand Lodge of
Paris, which did not receive a warrant till 1743.

The men who founded this lodge, far from being non-political, were
Jacobite leaders engaged in active schemes for the restoration of the
Stuart dynasty. The leader of the group, Charles Radcliffe, had been
imprisoned with his brother, the ill-fated Lord Derwentwater who was
executed on Tower Hill in 1716. Charles had succeeded in escaping from
Newgate and made his way to France, where he assumed the title of Lord
Derwentwater, although the Earldom had ceased to exist under the
bill of attainder against his brother.[361] It was this Lord
Derwentwater--afterwards executed for taking part in the 1745
rebellion--who with several other Jacobites is said to have founded the
Grand Lodge of Paris in 1725, and himself to have become Grand Master.

The Jacobite character of the Paris lodge is not a matter of dispute.
Mr. Gould relates that "the colleagues of Lord Derwentwater are stated
to have been a Chevalier Maskeline, a Squire Heguerty, and others, all
partisans of the Stuarts."[362] But he goes on to contest the theory
that they used Freemasonry in the Stuart cause, which he regards as
amounting to a charge of bad faith. This is surely unreasonable. The
founders of Grand Lodge in Paris did not derive from Grand Lodge in
London, from which they held no warrant,[363] but, as we have seen, took
their Freemasonry with them to France before Grand Lodge of London was
instituted; they were therefore in no way bound by its regulations. And
until the Constitutions of Anderson were published in 1723 no rule had
been laid down that the Lodges should be non-political. In the old days
Freemasonry had always been Royalist, as we see from the ancient charges
that members should be "true liegemen of the King"; and if the adherents
of James Edward saw in him their rightful sovereign, they may have
conceived that they were using Freemasonry for a lawful purpose in
adapting it to his cause. So although we may applaud the decision of the
London Freemasons to purge Freemasonry of political tendencies and
transform it into a harmonious system of brotherhood, we cannot accuse
the Jacobites in France of bad faith in not conforming to a decision in
which they had taken no part and in establishing lodges on their own

Unfortunately, however, as too frequently happens when men form secret
confederacies for a wholly honourable purpose, their ranks were
penetrated by confederates of another kind. It has been said in an
earlier chapter that, according to the documents produced by the _Ordre
du Temple_ in the early part of the nineteenth century, the Templars had
never ceased to exist in spite of their official suppression in 1312,
and that a line of Grand Masters had succeeded each other in unbroken
succession from Jacques du Molay to the Duc de Cosse-Brissac, who was
killed in 1792. The Grand Master appointed in 1705 is stated to have
been Philippe, Duc d'Orleans, later the Regent. Mr. Waite has expressed
the opinion that all this was an invention of the late eighteenth
century, and that the Charter of Larmenius was fabricated at this date
though not published until 1811 by the revived _Ordre du Temple_ under
the Grand Master, Fabre Palaprat. But evidence points to a contrary
conclusion. M. Matter, who, as we have seen, disbelieves the story of
the _Ordre du Temple_ and the authenticity of the Charter of Larmenius
in so far as it professes to be a genuine fourteenth-century document,
nevertheless asserts that the _savants_ who have examined it declare it
to date from the early part of the eighteenth century, at which period
Matter believes the Gospel of St. John used by the Order to have been
arranged so as "to accompany the ceremonies of some masonic or secret
society." Now, it was about 1740 that a revival of Templarism took place
in France and Germany; we cannot therefore doubt that if Matter is right
in this hypothesis, the secret society in question was that of the
Templars, whether they existed as lineal descendants of the
twelfth-century Order or merely as a revival of that Order. The
existence of the German Templars at this date under the name of the
_Stricte Observance_ (which we shall deal with in a further chapter) is
indeed a fact disputed by no one; but that there was also an _Ordre du
Temple_ in France at the very beginning of the eighteenth century must
be regarded as highly probable. Dr. Mackey, John Yarker, and Lecouteulx
de Canteleu (who, owing to his possession of Templar documents, had
exclusive sources of information) all declare this to have been the case
and accept the Charter of Larmenius as authentic. "It is quite certain,"
says Yarker, "that there was at this period in France an _Ordre du
Temple_, with a charter from John Mark Larmenius, who claimed
appointment from Jacques du Molay. Philippe of Orleans accepted the
Grand Mastership in 1705 and signed the Statutes."[364]

Without, however, necessarily accepting the Charter of Larmenius as
authentic let us examine the probability of this assertion with regard
to the Duc d'Orleans.

Amongst the Jacobites supporting Lord Derwentwater at the Grand Lodge of
Paris was a certain Andrew Michael Ramsay, known as Chevalier Ramsay,
who was born at Ayr near the famous Lodge of Kilwinning, where the
Templars are said to have formed their alliance with the masons in 1314.
In 1710 Ramsay was converted to the Roman Catholic faith by Fenelon and
in 1724 became tutor to the sons of the Pretender at Rome. Mr. Gould has
related that during his stay in France, Ramsay had formed a friendship
with the Regent, Philippe, Duc d'Orleans, who was Grand Master of the
_Ordre de Saint-Lazare_, instituted during the Crusades as a body of
Hospitallers devoting themselves to the care of the lepers and which in
1608 had been joined to the _Ordre du Mont-Carmel_. It seems probable
from all accounts that Ramsay was a Chevalier of this Order, but he
cannot have been admitted into it by the Duc d'Orleans, for the Grand
Master of the Ordre de Saint-Lazare was not the Duc d'Orleans but the
Marquis de Dangeau, who, on his death in 1720, was succeeded by the son
of the Regent, the Duc de Chartres.[365] If, then, Ramsay was admitted
to any Order by the Regent, it was surely the _Ordre du Temple_, of
which the Regent is said to have been the Grand Master at this date.

Now, the infamous character of the Duc d'Orleans is a matter of common
knowledge; moreover, during the Regency--that period of impiety and
moral dissolution hitherto unparalleled in the history of France--the
chief of council was the Duc de Bourbon, who later placed his mistress
the Marquise de Prie and the financier Paris Duverney at the head of
affairs, thus creating a scandal of such magnitude that he was exiled
in 1726 through the influence of Cardinal Fleury. This Duc de Bourbon in
1737 is said to have become Grand Master of the Temple. "It was thus,"
observes de Canteleu, "that these two Grand Masters of the Temple
degraded the royal authority and ceaselessly increased hatred against
the government."

It would therefore seem strange that a man so upright as Ramsay appears
to have been, who had moreover but recently been converted to the
Catholic Church, should have formed a friendship with the dissolute
Regent of France, unless there had been some bond between them. But here
we have a possible explanation--Templarism. Doubtless during Ramsay's
youth at Kilwinning many Templar traditions had come to his knowledge,
and if in France he found himself befriended by the Grand Master
himself, what wonder that he should have entered into an alliance which
resulted in his admission to an Order he had been accustomed to revere
and which, moreover, was represented to him as the _fons et origo_ of
the masonic brotherhood to which he also belonged? It is thus that we
find Ramsay in the very year that the Duc de Bourbon is said to have
been made Grand Master of the Temple artlessly writing to Cardinal
Fleury asking him to extend his protection to the society of Freemasons
in Paris and enclosing a copy of the speech which he was to deliver on
the following day, March 21, 1737. It is in this famous oration that for
the first time we find Freemasonry traced to the Crusades:

     At the time of the Crusades in Palestine many princes, lords, and
     citizens associated themselves, and vowed to restore the Temple of
     the Christians in the Holy Land, and to employ themselves in
     bringing back their architecture to its first institution. They
     agreed upon several ancient signs and symbolic words drawn from the
     well of religion in order to recognize themselves amongst the
     heathens and Saracens. These signs and words were only communicated
     to those who promised solemnly, and even sometimes at the foot of
     the altar, never to reveal them. This sacred promise was therefore
     not an execrable oath, as it has been called, but a respectable
     bond to unite Christians of all nationalities into one
     confraternity. Some time afterwards our Order formed an intimate
     union with the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem. From that time our
     Lodges took the name of Lodges of St. John.[366]

This speech of Ramsay's has raised a storm of controversy amongst
Freemasons because it contains a very decided hint of a connexion
between Templarism and Freemasonry. Mr. Tuckett, in the paper referred
to above, points out that only the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem are
here mentioned,[367] but Ramsay distinctly speaks of "our Order" forming
a union with the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem, and we know that the
Templars did eventually form such a union. The fact that Ramsay does not
mention the Templars by name admits of a very plausible explanation. It
must be remembered that, as Mr. Gould has shown, a copy of the oration
was enclosed by Ramsay in his letter to Cardinal Fleury appealing for
royal protection to be extended to Freemasonry; it is therefore hardly
likely that he would have proclaimed a connexion between the Order he
was anxious to present in the most favourable light and one which had
formerly been suppressed by King and Pope. Moreover, if the Charter of
Larmenius is to be believed, the newly elected Grand Master of the
Temple was the Duc de Bourbon, who had already incurred the Cardinal's
displeasure. Obviously, therefore, Templar influence was kept in the
background. This is not to imply bad faith on the part of Ramsay, who
doubtless held the Order of Templars to be wholly praiseworthy; but he
could not expect the King or Cardinal to share his view, and therefore
held it more prudent to refer to the progenitors of Freemasonry under
the vague description of a crusading body. Ramsay's well-meant effort
met, however, with no success. Whether on account of this unlucky
reference by which the Cardinal may have detected Templar influence or
for some other reason, the appeal for royal protection was not only
refused, but the new Order, which hitherto Catholics had been allowed to
enter, was now prohibited by Royal edict. In the following year, 1738,
the Pope, Clement XII, issued a bull, _In Eminenti_, banning
Freemasonry and excommunicating Catholics who took part in it.

But this prohibition appears to have been without effect, for
Freemasonry not only prospered but soon began to manufacture new
degrees. And in the masonic literature of the following thirty years the
Templar tradition becomes still more clearly apparent. Thus the
Chevalier de Berage in a well-known pamphlet, of which the first edition
is said to have appeared in 1747,[368] gives the following account of
the origins of Freemasonry:

     This Order was instituted by Godefroi de Bouillon in Palestine in
     1330,[369] after the decadence of the Christian armies, and was
     only communicated to the French Masons some time after and to a
     very small number, as a reward for the obliging services they
     rendered to several of our English and Scottish Knights, from whom
     true Masonry is taken. Their Metropolitan Lodge is situated on the
     Mountain of Heredom where the first Lodge was held in Europe and
     which exists in all its splendour. The General Council is still
     held there and it is the seal of the Sovereign Grand Master in
     office. This mountain is situated between the West and North of
     Scotland at sixty miles from Edinburgh.

Apart from the historical confusion of the first sentence, this passage
is of interest as evidence that the theory of a connexion between
certain crusading Knights and the Lodge of Heredom of Kilwinning was
current as early as 1747. The Baron Tschoudy in his _Etoile
Flamboyante_, which appeared in 1766, says that the crusading origin of
Freemasonry is the one officially taught in the lodges, where candidates
for initiation are told that several Knights who had set forth to rescue
the holy places of Palestine from the Saracens "formed an association
under the name of Free Masons, thus indicating that their principal
desire was the reconstruction of the Temple of Solomon," that, further,
they adopted certain signs, grips, and passwords as a defence against
the Saracens, and finally that "our Society ... fraternized on the
footing of an Order with the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem, from
which it is apparent that the Freemasons borrowed the custom of
regarding St. John as the patron of the whole Order in general."[370]
After the crusades "the Masons kept their rites and methods and in this
way perpetuated the royal art by establishing lodges, first in England,
then in Scotland," etc.[371]

In this account, therefore, Freemasonry is represented as having been
instituted for the defence of Christian doctrines. De Berage expresses
the same view and explains that the object of these Crusaders in thus
binding themselves together was to protect their lives against the
Saracens by enveloping their sacred doctrines in a veil of mystery. For
this purpose they made use of Jewish symbolism, which they invested with
a Christian meaning. Thus the Temple of Solomon was used to denote the
Church of Christ, the bough of acacia signified the Cross, the square
and the compass the union between the Old and New Testaments, etc. So
"the mysteries of Masonry were in their principle, and are still,
nothing else than those of the Christian religion."[372]

Baron Tschoudy, however, declares that all this stops short of the
truth, that Freemasonry originated long before the Crusades in
Palestine, and that the real "ancestors, fathers, authors of the Masons,
those illustrious men of whom I will not say the date nor betray the
secret," were a "disciplined body" whom Tschoudy describes by the name
of "the Knights of the Aurora and Palestine." After "the almost total
destruction of the Jewish people" these "Knights" had always hoped to
regain possession of the domains of their fathers and to rebuild the
Temple, and they carefully preserved their "regulations and particular
liturgy," together with a "sublime treatise" which was the object of
their continual study and of their philosophical speculations. Tschoudy
further relates that they were students of the "occult sciences," of
which alchemy formed a part, and that they had "abjured the principles
of the Jewish religion in order to follow the lights of the Christian
faith." At the time of the Crusades the Knights of Palestine came out
from the desert of the Thebaid, where they had remained hidden, and
joined to themselves some of the crusaders who had remained in
Jerusalem. Declaring that they were the descendants of the masons who
had worked on the Temple of Solomon, they professed to concern
themselves with "speculative architecure," which served to disguise a
more glorious point of view. From this time they took the name of Free
Masons, presented themselves under this title to the crusading armies
and assembled under their banners.[373]

It would of course be absurd to regard any of the foregoing accounts as
historical facts; the important point is that they tend to prove the
fallacy of supposing that the Johannite-Templar theory originated with
the revived _Ordre du Temple_, since one corresponding to it so closely
was current in the middle of the preceding century. It is true that in
these earlier accounts the actual words "Johannite" and "Templar" do not
occur, but the resemblance between the sect of Jews professing the
Christian faith but possessing a "particular liturgy" and a "sublime
treatise"--apparently some early form of the Cabala--dealing with occult
science, and the Mandaeans or Johannites with their Cabalistic "Book of
Adam," their Book of John, and their ritual, is at once apparent.
Further, the allusions to the connexion between the Knights who had been
indoctrinated in the Holy Land and the Scottish lodges coincides exactly
with the Templar tradition, published not only by the _Ordre du Temple_
but handed down in the Royal Order of Scotland.

From all this the following facts stand out: (1) that whilst British
Craft Masonry traced its origin to the operative guilds of masons, the
Freemasons of France from 1737 onwards placed the origin of the Order in
crusading chivalry; (2) that it was amongst these Freemasons that the
upper degrees known as the Scottish Rite arose; and (3) that, as we
shall now see, these degrees clearly suggest Templar inspiration.

The earliest form of the upper degrees appears to have been the one
given by de Berage, as follows:

    1. Parfait Macon Elu.
    2. Elu de Perignan.
    3. Elu des Quinze.
    4. Petit Architecte.
    5. Grand Architecte.
    6. Chevalier de l'Epee et de Rose-Croix.
    7. Noachite ou Chevalier Prussien.

The first of these to make its appearance is believed to have been the
one here assigned to the sixth place. This degree known in modern
Masonry as "Prince of the Rose-Croix of Heredom or Knight of the Pelican
and Eagle" became the eighteenth and the most important degree in what
was later called the Scottish Rite, or at the present time in England
the Ancient and Accepted Rite.

Why was this Rite called Scottish? "It cannot be too strongly insisted
on," says Mr. Gould, "that all Scottish Masonry has nothing whatever to
do with the Grand Lodge of Scotland, nor, with one possible
exception--that of the Royal Order of Scotland--did it ever originate in
that country."[374] But in the case of the Rose-Croix degree there is
surely some justification for the term in legend, if not in proven fact,
for, as we have already seen, according to the tradition of the Royal
Order of Scotland this degree had been contained in it since the
fourteenth century, when the degrees of H.R.M. (Heredom) and R.S.Y.C.S.
(Rosy Cross) are said to have been instituted by Robert Bruce in
collaboration with the Templars after the battle of Bannockburn. Dr.
Mackey is one of the few Masons who admit this probable affiliation, and
in referring to the tradition of the Royal Order of Scotland observes:
"From that Order it seems to us by no means improbable that the present
degree of Rose-Croix de Heredom may have taken its origin."[375]

But the Rose-Croix degree, like the Templar tradition from which it
appears to have descended, is capable of a dual interpretation, or
rather of a multiple interpretation, for no degree in Masonry has been
subject to so many variations. That on the Continent it had descended
through the Rosicrucians in an alchemical form seems more than probable.
It would certainly be difficult to believe that a degree of R.S.Y.C.S.
was imported from the East and incorporated in the Royal Order of
Scotland in 1314; that by a mere coincidence a man named Christian
Rosenkreutz was--according to the Rosicrucian legend--born in the same
century and transmitted a secret doctrine he had discovered in the East
to the seventeenth-century Brethren of the Rosy Cross; and finally,
that a degree of the Rose-Croix was founded in circ. 1741 without any
connexion existing between these succeeding movements. Even if we deny
direct affiliation, we must surely admit a common source of inspiration
producing, if not a continuation, at any rate a periodic revival of the
same ideas. Dr. Oliver indeed admits affiliation between the
seventeenth-century fraternity and the eighteenth-century degree, and
after pointing out that the first indication of the Rose-Croix degree
appears in the _Fama Fraternitatis_ in 1613, goes on to say:

     It was known much sooner, although not probably as a degree in
     Masonry, for it existed as a cabalistic science from the earliest
     times in Egypt, Greece, and Rome, as well as amongst the Jews and
     Moors in times more recent, and in our own country the names of
     Roger Bacon, Fludd, Ashmole, and many others are found in its list
     of adepts.[376]

Dr. Mackey, quoting this passage, observes that "Oliver confounds the
masonic Rose-Croix with the alchemical Rosicrucians," and proceeds to
give an account of the Rose-Croix degree as worked in England and
America, which he truly describes as "in the strictest sense a Christian
degree."[377] But the point Dr. Mackey overlooks is that this is only
one version of the degree, which, as we shall see later, has been and
still is worked in a very different manner on the Continent.

It is, however, certain that the version of the Rose-Croix degree first
adopted by the Freemasons of France in about 1741 was not only so
Christian but so Catholic in character as to have given rise to the
belief that it was devised by the Jesuits in order to counteract the
attacks of which Catholicism was the object.[378] In a paper on the
Additional Degrees Mr. J.S. Tuckett writes:

     There is undeniable evidence that in their _earliest forms_ the
     Ecossais or Scots Degrees were Roman Catholic; I have a MS. Ritual
     in French of what I believe to be the _original_ Chev. de l'Aigle
     or S.'.P.'.D.'.R.'.C.'. (Souverain Prince de Rose-Croix) and in it the
     New Law is declared to be "la foy Catholique," and the Baron Tschoudy
     in his _L'Etoile Flamboyante_ of 1766 describes the same Degree as
     "le Catholicisme mis en grade" (Vol. I. p. 114). I suggest that
     Ecossais or Scots Masonry was intended to be a Roman Catholic as
     well as a Stuart form of Freemasonry, in which none but those
     devoted to both Restorations were to be admitted.[379]

But is it necessary to read this political intention into the degree? If
the tradition of the Royal Order of Scotland is to be believed, the idea
of the Rose-Croix degree was far older than the Stuart cause, and dated
back to Bannockburn, when the degree of Heredom with which it was
coupled was instituted in order "to correct the errors and reform the
abuses which had crept in among the three degrees of St. John's
Masonry," and to provide a "Christianized form of the Third Degree,"
"purified of the dross of paganism and even of Judaism."[380] Whether
the antiquity attributed to these degrees can be proved or not, it
certainly appears probable that the legend of the Royal Order of
Scotland had some foundation in fact, and therefore that the ideas
embodied in the eighteenth-century Rose-Croix degree may have been drawn
from the store of that Order and brought by the Jacobites to France. At
the same time there is no evidence in support of the statement made by
certain Continental writers that Ramsay actually instituted this or any
of the upper degrees. On the contrary, in his Oration he expressly
states that Freemasonry is composed of the Craft degrees only:

     We have amongst us three kinds of brothers: Novices or Apprentices,
     Fellows or Professed Brothers, Masters or Perfected Brethren. To
     the first are explained the moral virtues; to the second the heroic
     virtues; to the last the Christian virtues....

It might be said then that the Rose-Croix degree was here foreshadowed
in the Masters' degree, in that the latter definitely inculcated
Christianity. This would be perfectly in accord with Ramsay's point of
view as set forth in his account of his conversion by Fenelon. When he
first met the Archbishop of Cambrai in 1710, Ramsay relates that he had
lost faith in all Christian sects and had resolved to "take refuge in a
wise Deism limited to respect for the Divinity and for the immutable
ideas of pure virtue," but that his conversation with Fenelon led him to
accept the Catholic faith. And he goes on to show that "Monsieur de
Cambrai turned Atheists into Deists, Deists into Christians, and
Christians into Catholics by a sequence of ideas full of enlightenment
and feeling."[381]

Might not this be the process which Ramsay aimed at introducing into
Freemasonry--the process which in fact does form part of the masonic
system in England to-day, where the Atheist must become, at least by
profession, a Deist before he can be admitted to the Craft Degrees,
whilst the Rose-Croix degree is reserved solely for those who profess
the Christian faith? Such was undoubtedly the idea of the men who
introduced the Rose-Croix degree into France; and Ragon, who gives an
account of this "Ancien Rose-Croix Francais"--which is almost identical
with the degree now worked in England, but long since abandoned in
France--objects to it on the very score of its Christian character.[382]

In this respect the Rose-Croix amongst all the upper degrees introduced
to France in the middle of the eighteenth century stands alone, and it
alone can with any probability be attributed to Scottish Jacobite
inspiration. It was not, in fact, until three or four years after Lord
Derwentwater or his mysterious successor Lord Harnouester[383] had
resigned the Grand Mastership in favour of the Duc d'Antin in 1738 that
the additional degrees were first heard of, and it was not until eight
years after the Stuart cause had received its death-blow at Culloden,
that is to say, in 1754, that the Rite of Perfection in which the
so-called Scots Degrees were incorporated was drawn up in the following

    Rite of Perfection

     1. Entered Apprentice.
     2. Fellow Craft.
     3. Master Mason.
     4. Secret Master.
     5. Perfect Master.
     6. Intimate Secretary.
     7. Intendant of the Buildings.
     8. Provost and Judge.
     9. Elect of Nine.
    10. Elect of Fifteen.
    11. Chief of the Twelve Tribes.
    12. Grand Master Architect.
    13. Knight of the Ninth Arch.
    14. Ancient Grand Elect.
    15. Knight of the Sword.
    16. Prince of Jerusalem.
    17. Knight of the East and West.
    18. Rose-Croix Knight.
    19. Grand Pontiff.
    20. Grand Patriarch.
    21. Grand Master of the Key of Masonry.
    22. Prince of Libanus or Knight of the Royal Axe.
    23. Sovereign Prince Adept.
    24. Commander of the Black and White Eagle.
    25. Commander of the Royal Secret.[384]

We have only to glance at the nomenclature of the last twenty-two of
these degrees to see that on the basis of mere operative Masonry there
has been built up a system composed of two elements: crusading chivalry
and Judaic tradition. What else is this but Templarism? Even Mr. Gould,
usually so reticent on Templar influence, admits it at this period:

     In France ... some of the Scots lodges would appear to have very
     early manufactured new degrees, connecting these very distinguished
     Scots Masons with the Knights Templar, and thus given rise to the
     subsequent flood of Templarism. The earliest of all are supposed to
     have been the Masons of Lyons who invented the Kadosch degree,
     representing the vengeance of the Templars, in 1741. From that time
     new rites multiplied in France and Germany, but all those of French
     origin contain Knightly, and almost all, Templar grades. In every
     case the connecting link was composed of one or more Scots

The name Kadosch here mentioned is a Hebrew word signifying "holy" or
"consecrated," which in the Cabala is found in conjunction with the
Tetragrammaton.[386] The degree is said to have developed from that of
Grand Elect,[387] one of the three "degrees of vengeance" celebrating
with sanguinary realism the avenging of the murder of Hiram. But in its
final form of Knight Kadosch--later to become the thirtieth degree of
the "Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite"--the Hiramic legend was changed
into the history of the Templars with Jacques du Molay as the
victim.[388] So the reprobation of attack on authority personified by
the master-builder becomes approbation of attack on authority in the
person of the King of France.

The introduction of the upper degrees with their political and, later
on, anti-Christian tendencies thus marked a complete departure from the
fundamental principle of Freemasonry that "nothing concerning the
religion or government shall ever be spoken of in the lodge." For this
reason they have been assailed not only by anti-masonic writers but by
Freemasons themselves.[389] To represent Barruel and Robison as the
enemies of Freemasonry is therefore absolutely false; neither of these
men denounced Craft Masonry as practised in England, but only the
superstructure erected on the Continent. Barruel indeed incurs the
reproaches of Mounier for his championship of English Freemasons:

He vaunts their respect for religious opinion and for authority. When he
speaks of Freemasons in general they are impious, rebellious successors
of the Templars and Albigenses, but _all those of England are innocent_.
More than this, all the Entered Apprentices, Fellow Crafts, and Master
Masons in all parts of the world are innocent; there are only guilty
ones in the higher degrees, which are not essential to the institution
and are sought by a small number of people.[390]

In this opinion of Barruel's a great number of Masonic writers
concur--Clavel, Ragon, Rebold, Thory, Findel, and others too numerous to
mention; all indicate Craft Masonry as the only true kind and the upper
degrees as constituting a danger to the Order. Rebold, who gives a list
of these writers, quotes a masonic publication, authorized by the Grand
Orient and the Supreme Council of France, in which it is said that "from
all these rites there result the most foolish conceptions, ... the most
absurd legends, ... the most extravagant systems, the most immoral
principles, and those the most dangerous for the peace and preservation
of States," and that therefore except the first three degrees of
Masonry, which are really ancient and universal, everything is "chimera,
extravagance, futility, and lies."[391] Did Barruel and Robison ever
use stronger language than this?

To attribute the perversion of Masonry to Jacobite influence would be
absurd. How could it be supposed that either Ramsay or Lord Derwentwater
(who died as a devout Catholic on the scaffold in 1746) could have been
concerned in an attempt to undermine the Catholic faith or the monarchy
of France? I would suggest, then, that the term "Scots Masonry" became
simply a veil for Templarism--Templarism, moreover, of a very different
kind to that from which the original degree of the Rose-Croix was
derived. It was this so-called Scots Masonry that, after the resignation
of Lord Derwentwater, "boldly came forward and claimed to be not merely
a part of Masonry but the real Masonry, possessed of superior knowledge
and entitled to greater privileges and the right to rule over the
ordinary, i.e. Craft Masonry."[392] The Grand Lodge of France seems,
however, to have realized the danger of submitting to the domination of
the Templar element, and on the death of the Duc d'Antin and his
replacement by the Comte de Clermont in 1743, signified its adherence to
English Craft Masonry by proclaiming itself Grande Loge _Anglaise_ de
France and reissued the "Constitutions" of Anderson, first published in
1723, with the injunction that the Scots Masters should be placed on the
same level as the simple Apprentices and Fellow Crafts and allowed to
wear no badges of distinction.[393]

Grand Lodge of England appears to have been reassured by this
proclamation as to the character of French Freemasonry, for now, in
1743, it at last delivered a warrant to Grand Lodge of France. Yet in
reality it was from this moment that French Freemasonry degenerated the
most rapidly. The Order was soon invaded by intriguers. This was
rendered all the easier by the apathy of the Comte de Clermont,
appointed Grand Master in 1743, who seems to have taken little interest
in the Order and employed a substitute in the person of a dancing master
named Lacorne, a man of low character through whose influence the lodges
fell into a state of anarchy. Freemasonry was thus divided into warring
factions: Lacorne and the crowd of low-class supporters who had followed
him into the lodges founded a Grand Lodge of their own (Grande Loge
Lacorne), and in 1756 the original Freemasons again attempted to make
Craft Masonry the national Masonry of France by deleting the word
"Anglaise" from the appellation of Grand Lodge, and renaming it "Grand
Loge Nationale de France." But many lodges still continue to work the
additional degrees.

The rivalry between the two groups became so violent that in 1767 the
government intervened and closed down Grand Lodge.

The Templar group had, however, formed two separate associations, the
"Knights of the East" (1756) and the "Council of the Emperors of the
East and West" (1758). In 1761 a Jew named Stephen Morin was sent to
America by the "Emperors" armed with a warrant from the Duc de Clermont
and Grand Lodge of Paris and bearing the sonorous title of "Grand Elect
Perfect and Sublime Master," with orders to establish a Lodge in that
country. In 1766 he was accused in Grand Lodge of "propagating strange
and monstrous doctrines" and his patent of Grand Inspector was
withdrawn.[394] Morin, however, had succeeded in establishing the Rite
of Perfection. Sixteen Inspectors, nearly all Jews, were now appointed.
These included Isaac Iong, Isaac de Costa, Moses Hayes, B. Spitser,
Moses Cohen, Abraham Jacobs, and Hyman Long.

Meanwhile in France the closing of Grand Lodge had not prevented
meetings of Lacorne's group, which, on the death of the Duc de Clermont
in 1772, instituted the "Grand Orient" with the Duc de Chartres--the
future "Philippe Egalite"--as Grand Master. The Grand Orient then
invited the Grande Loge to revoke the decree of expulsion and unite with
it, and this offer being accepted, the revolutionary party inevitably
carried all before it, and the Duc de Chartres was declared Grand Master
of all the councils, chapters, and Scotch lodges of France.[395] In 1782
the "Council of Emperors" and the "Knights of the East" combined to form
the "Grand Chapitre General de France," which in 1786 joined up with the
Grand Orient. The victory of the revolutionary party was then complete.

It is necessary to enter into all these tedious details in order to
understand the nature of the factions grouped together under the banner
of Masonry at this period. The Martinist Papus attributes the
revolutionary influences that now prevailed in the lodges to their
invasion by the Templars, and goes on to explain that this was owing to
a change that had taken place in the _Ordre du Temple_. Under the Grand
Mastership of the Regent and his successor the Duc de Bourbon, the
revolutionary elements amongst the Templars had had full play, but from
1741 onwards the Grand Masters of the Order were supporters of the
monarchy. When the Revolution came, the Duc de Cosse-Brissac, who had
been Grand Master since 1776, perished amongst the defenders of the
throne. It was thus that by the middle of the century the Order of the
Temple ceased to be a revolutionary force, and the discontented elements
it had contained, no longer able to find in it a refuge, threw
themselves into Freemasonry, and entering the higher degrees turned them
to their subversive purpose. According to Papus, Lacorne was a member of
the Templar group, and the dissensions that took place were principally
a fight between the ex-Templars and the genuine Freemasons which ended
in the triumph of the former:

     Victorious rebels thus founded the Grand Orient of France. So a
     contemporary Mason is able to write: "It is not excessive to say
     that the masonic revolution of 1773 was the prelude and the
     precursor of the Revolution of 1789." What must be well observed is
     the secret action of the Brothers of the Templar Rite. It is they
     who are the real fomentors of revolution, the others are only
     docile agents.[396]

But all this attributes the baneful influence of Templarism to the
French Templars alone, and the existence of such a body rests on no
absolutely certain evidence. What is certain and admits of no denial on
the part of any historian, is the inauguration of a Templar Order in
Germany at the very moment when the so-called Scottish degrees were
introduced into French Masonry. We shall now return to 1738 and follow
events that were taking place at this important moment beyond the



The year after Ramsay's oration--that is to say in 1738--Frederick,
Crown Prince of Prussia, the future Frederick the Great, who for two
years had been carrying on a correspondence with Voltaire, suddenly
evinced a curiosity to know the secrets of Freemasonry which he had
hitherto derided as "Kinderspiel," and accordingly went through a hasty
initiation during the night of August 14-15, whilst passing through

The ceremony took place not at a masonic lodge, but at a hotel, in the
presence of a deputation summoned by the Graf von Lippe-Buckeburg from
Grand Lodge of Hamburg for the occasion. It is evident that something of
an unusual kind must have occurred to necessitate these speedy and
makeshift arrangements. Carlyle, in his account of the episode,
endeavours to pass it off as a "very trifling circumstance"--a reason
the more for regarding it as of the highest importance since we know now
from facts that have recently come to light how carefully Carlyle was
spoon-fed by Potsdam whilst writing his book on Frederick the

But let us follow Frederick's masonic career. In June 1740, after his
accession to the throne, his interest in Masonry had clearly not waned,
for we find him presiding over a lodge at Charlottenburg, where he
received into the Order two of his brothers, his brother-in-law, and
Duke Frederick William of Holstein-Beck. At his desire the Baron de
Bielfeld and his privy councillor Jordan founded a lodge at Berlin, the
"Three Globes," which by 1746 had no less than fourteen lodges under its

In this same year of 1740 Voltaire, in response to urgent invitations,
paid his first visit to Frederick the Great in Germany. Voltaire is
usually said not to have yet become a Mason, and the date of his
initiation is supposed to have been 1778, when he was received into the
_Loge des Neuf Soeurs_ in Paris. But this by no means precludes the
possibility that he had belonged to another masonic Order at an earlier
date. At any rate, Voltaire's visit to Germany was followed by two
remarkable events in the masonic world of France. The first of these was
the institution of the additional degrees; the second--perhaps not
wholly unconnected with the first--was the arrival in Paris of a masonic
delegate from Germany named von Marschall, who brought with him
instructions for a new or rather a revived Order of Templarism, in which
he attempted to interest Prince Charles Edward and his followers.

Von Marschall was followed about two years later by Baron von Hunt, who
had been initiated in 1741 into the three degrees of Craft Masonry in
Germany and now came to consecrate a lodge in Paris. According to von
Hundt's own account, he was then received into the Order of the Temple
by an unknown Knight of the Red Plume, in the presence of Lord
Kilmarnock,[399] and was presented as a distinguished Brother to Prince
Charles Edward, whom he imagined to be Grand Master of the Order.[400]
But all this was afterwards shown to be a pure frabrication, for Prince
Charles Edward dened all knowledge of the affair, and von Hundt himself
admitted later that he did not know the name of the lodge or chapter in
which he was received, but that he was directed from "a hidden centre"
and by Unknown Superiors, whose identity he was bound not to
reveal.[401] In reality it appears that von Hundt's account was exactly
the opposite of the truth,[402] and that it was von Hundt who, seconding
von Marschall's effort, tried to enrol Prince Charles Edward in the new
German Order by assuring him that he could raise powerful support for
the Stuart cause under the cover of reorganizing the Templar Order, of
which he claimed to possess the true secrets handed down from the
Knights of the fourteenth century. By way of further rehabilitating the
Order, von Hundt declared that all the accusations brought against it
by Philippe le Bel and the Pope were based on false charges manufactured
by two recreant Knights named Noffodei and Florian as a revenge for
having been deprived of their commands by the Order in consequence of
certain crimes they had committed.[403] According to Lecouteulx de
Canteleu, von Hundt eventually succeeded--after the defeat of
Culloden--in persuading Prince Charles Edward to enter his Order. But
this is extremely doubtful. At any rate, when in 1751 von Hundt
officially founded his new Templar Order under the name of the _Stricte
Observance_, the unfortunate Charles Edward played no part at all in the
scheme. As Mr. Gould has truly observed, "no trace of Jacobite intrigues
ever blended with the teaching of the _Stricte Observance_."[404]

The _Order of the Stricte Observance_ was in reality a purely German
association composed of men drawn entirely from the intellectual and
aristocratic classes, and, in imitation of the chivalric Orders of the
past, known to each other under knightly titles. Thus Prince Charles of
Hesse became Eques a Leone Resurgente, Duke Ferdinand of Brunswick Eques
a Victoria, the Prussian minister von Bischoffswerder Eques a Grypho,
Baron de Wachter Eques a Ceraso, Christian Bode (Councillor of Legation
in Saxe-Gotha) Eques a Lilio Convallium, von Haugwitz (Cabinet Minister
of Frederick the Great) Eques a Monte Sancto, etc.

But according to the declarations of the Order the official leaders,
Knights of the Moon, the Star, the Golden Sun, or of the Sacred
Mountain, were simply figure-heads; the real leaders, known as the
"Unknown Superiors," remained in the background, unadorned by titles of
chivalry but exercising supreme jurisdiction over the Order. The system
had been foreshadowed by the "Invisibles" of seventeenth-century
Rosicrucianism; but now, instead of an intangible group whose very
existence was only known vaguely to the world, there appeared in the
light of day a powerful organization led apparently by men of influence
and position yet secretly directed by hidden chiefs.[405] Mirabeau has
described the advent of these mysterious directors in the following

     In about 1756 there appeared, as if they had come out of the
     ground, men sent, they said, by unknown superiors, and armed with
     powers to reform the order [of Freemasonry] and re-establish it in
     its ancient purity. One of these missionaries, named Johnston, came
     to Weimar and Jena, where he established himself. He was received
     in the best way in the world by the brothers [Freemasons], who were
     lured by the hope of great secrets, of important discoveries which
     were never made known to them.[406]

Now, in the manuscripts of the Prince of Hesse published by Lecouteulx
de Canteleu it is said that this man Johnston, or rather Johnson, who
proclaimed himself to be "Grand Prior of the Order," was a Jew named
Leicht or Leucht.[407] Gould says that his real name was either Leucht
or Becker, but that he professed to be an Englishman, although unable to
speak the English language, hence his assumption of the name
Johnson.[408] Mr. Gould has described Johnson as a "consummate rogue and
an unmitigated vagabond ... of almost repulsive demeanour and of no
education, but gifted with boundless impudence and low cunning." Indeed,
von Hundt himself, after enlisting Johnson's services, found him too
dangerous and declared him to be an adventurer. Johnson was thereupon
arrested by von Hundt's friend the councillor von Pritsch, and thrown
into the castle of Wartburg, where sudden death ended his career.

It is, however, improbable that Mirabeau could be right in indicating
Johnson as one of the "Unknown Superiors," who were doubtless men of
vaster conceptions than this adventurer appears to have been. Moreover,
the manner of his end clearly proves that he occupied a subordinate
position in the _Stricte Observance_.

Here, then, we have a very curious sequence of events which it may be
well to recapitulate briefly in order to appreciate their full

  1737. Oration of Chevalier Ramsay indicating Templar origin of
        Freemasonry, but making no mention of upper degrees.

  1738. Duc d'Antin becomes Grand Master of French Freemasonry in the
        place of Lord "Harnouester."

  1738. Frederick, Crown Prince of Prussia, initiated into Masonry at

  1740. Voltaire pays his first visit to Frederick, now King.

  1741. Baron von Marschall arrives in Paris with a plan for reviving
        the Templar Order.

        Templar degrees first heard of in France under name of "Scots

  1743. Arrival in France of Baron von Hundt with fresh plans for
        reviving the Templar Order.

        Degree of Knight Kadosch celebrating vengeance of Templars said
        to have been instituted at Lyons.

  1750. Voltaire goes to spend three years with Frederick.

  1751. Templar Order of the Stricte Observance founded by von Hundt.

  1754. Rite of Perfection (early form of Scottish Rite) founded in

  1761. Frederick acknowledged head of Scottish Rite.

    "   Morin sent to found Rite of Perfection in America.

  1762. Grand Masonic Constitutions ratified in Berlin.[409]

It will be seen then that what Mr. Gould describes as "the flood of
Templarism," which both he and Mr. Tuckett attribute to the so-called
Scots Masons,[410] corresponds precisely with the decline of Jacobite
and the rise of German influence. Would it not therefore appear probable
that, except in the case of the Rose-Croix degree, the authors of the
upper degrees were not Scotsmen nor Jacobites, that Scots Masonry was a
term used to cover not merely Templarism but more especially German
Templarism, and that the real author and inspirer of the movement was
Frederick the Great? No, it is significant to find that in the history
of the _Ordre du Temple_, published at the beginning of the nineteenth
century, Frederick the Great is cited as one of the most distinguished
members of this Order in the past,[411] and the Abbe Gregoire adds that
he was "consecrated" at Remersberg (Rheinsberg?) in 1738, that is to say
in the same year that he was initiated into Masonry at Brunswick.[412]
There is therefore a definite reason for connecting Frederick with
Templarism at this date.

I would suggest, then, that the truth about the Templar succession may
be found in one of the two following theories:

1. That the documents produced by the _Ordre du Temple_ in the
nineteenth century, including the Charter of Larmenius, were genuine;
that the Order had never ceased to exist since the days of the Crusades;
that the Templar heresy was Johannism, but that this was not held by the
Templars who escaped to Scotland; that the Rose-Croix degree in its
purely Christian form was introduced by the Scottish Templars to
Scotland and four hundred years later brought by Ramsay to France; that
the Master of the Temple at this date was the Regent, Philippe Duc
d'Orleans, as stated in the Charter of Larmenius. Finally, that after
this, fresh Templar degrees were introduced from Germany by von Hundt,
acting on behalf of Frederick the Great.

2. That the documents produced by the _Ordre du Temple_ in the
nineteenth century were, as M. Matter declares, early eighteenth-century
fabrications; that although, in view of the tradition preserved in the
Royal Order of Scotland, there appears to be good reason to believe the
story of the Scottish Templars and the origin of the Rose-Croix degree,
the rest of the history of the Templars, including the Charter of
Larmenius, was an invention of the "Concealed Superiors" of the _Stricte
Observance_ in Germany, and that the most important of these "Concealed
Superiors" were Frederick the Great and Voltaire.

I shall not attempt to decide which of these two theories is correct;
all that I do maintain is that in either case the preponderating role in
Templarism at this crisis was played by Frederick the Great, probably
with the co-operation of Voltaire, who in his _Essai sur les Maeurs_
championed the cause of the Templars. Let us follow the reasons for
arriving at this conclusion.

Ramsay's oration in 1737 connecting Freemasonry with the Templars may
well have come to the ears of Frederick and suggested to him the idea of
using Masonry as a cover for his intrigues--hence his hasty initiation
at Brunswick. But in order to acquire influence in a secret society it
is always necessary to establish a claim to superior knowledge, and
Templarism seemed to provide a fruitful source of inspiration. For this
purpose new light must be thrown on the Order. Now, there was probably
no one better qualified than Voltaire, with his knowledge of the ancient
and medieval world and hatred of the Catholic Church, to undertake the
construction of a historical romance subversive of the Catholic
faith--hence the urgent summons to the philosopher to visit Frederick.
We can imagine Voltaire delving amongst the records of the past in order
to reconstruct the Templar heresy. This was clearly Gnostic, and the
Mandaeans or Christians of St. John may well have appeared to present the
required characteristics. If it could be shown that here in Johannism
true "primitive Christianity" was to be found, what a blow for the
"infame"! A skilful forger could easily be found to fabricate the
documents said to have been preserved in the secret archives of the
Order. Further we find von Marschall arriving in the following year in
France to reorganize the Templars, and von Hundt later claiming to be in
possession of the true secrets of the Order handed down from the
fourteenth century. That some documents bearing on this question were
either discovered or fabricated under the direction of Frederick the
Great seems the more probable from the existence of a masonic tradition
to this effect. Thus Dr. Oliver quotes a Report of the Grand
Inspectors-General in the nineteenth century stating that:

     During the Crusades, at which 27,000 Masons were present, some
     masonic MSS. of great importance were discovered among the
     descendants of the ancient Jews, and that other valuable documents
     were found at different periods down to the year of Light 5557
     (i.e. 1553), at which time a record came to light in Syrian
     characters, relating to the most remote antiquity, and from which
     it would appear that the world is many thousand years older than
     given by the Mosaic account. Few of these characters were
     translated till the reign of our illustrious and most enlightened
     Brother Frederick II, King of Prussia, whose well-known zeal for
     the Craft was the cause of so much improvement in the Society over
     which he condescended to preside.[413]

I suggest, then, that the documents here referred to and containing the
secrets claimed by von Hundt may have been the ones afterwards published
by the _Ordre du Temple_ in the nineteenth century, and that if
unauthentic they were the work of Voltaire, aided probably by a Jew
capable of forging Syriac manuscripts. That Johnson was the Jew in
question seems probable, since Findel definitely asserts that the
history of the continuation of the Order of Knights Templar was his
work.[414] Frederick, as we know, was in the habit of employing Jews to
carry out shady transactions, and he may well have used Johnson to forge
documents as he used Ephraim to coin false money for him. It would be
further quite in keeping with his policy to get rid of the man as soon
as he had served his purpose, lest he should betray his secrets.

At any rate, whatever were the methods employed by Frederick the Great
for obtaining control over Masonry, the fruitful results of that "very
trifling circumstance," his initiation at Brunswick, become more and
more apparent as the century advances. Thus when in 1786 the Rite of
Perfection was reorganized and rechristened the "Ancient and Accepted
Scottish Rite"--always the same Scottish cover for Prussianism!--it is
said to have been Frederick who conducted operations, drew up the new
Constitutions of the Order, and rearranged the degrees so as to bring
the total number up to thirty-three[415], as follows:

    26. Prince of Mercy.
    27. Sovereign Commander of the Temple.
    28. Knight of the Sun.
    29. Grand Scotch Knight of St. Andrew.
    30. Grand Elect Knight of Kadosch.
    31. Grand Inspector Inquisitor Commander.
    32. Sublime Prince of the Royal Secret.
    33. Sovereign Grand Inspector-General.

In the last four degrees Frederick the Great and Prussia play an
important part; in the thirtieth degree of Knight Kadosch, largely
modelled on the Vehmgerichts, the Knights wear Teutonic crosses, the
throne is surmounted by the double-headed eagle of Prussia, and the
President, who is called Thrice Puissant Grand Master, represents
Frederick himself; in the thirty-second degree of Sublime Prince of the
Royal Secret, Frederick is described as the head of Continental
Freemasonry; in the thirty-third degree of Sovereign Grand
Inspector-General the jewel is again the double-headed eagle, and the
Sovereign Grand Commander is Frederick, who at the time this degree was
instituted figured with Philippe, Duc d'Orleans, Grand Master of the
Grand Orient, as his lieutenant. The most important of these innovations
was the thirty-second degree, which was in reality a system rather than
a degree for bringing together the Masons of all countries under one
head--hence the immense power acquired by Frederick. By 1786 French
Masonry was thus entirely Prussianized and Frederick had indeed become
the idol of Masonry everywhere. Yet probably no one ever despised
Freemasonry more profoundly. As the American Mason Albert Pike shrewdly

     There is no doubt that Frederick came to the conclusion that the
     great pretensions of Masonry in the blue degrees were merely
     imaginary and deceptive. He ridiculed the Order, and thought its
     ceremonies mere child's play; and some of his sayings to that
     effect have been preserved. It does not at all follow that he might
     not at a later day have found it politic to put himself at the head
     of an Order that had become a power....[416]

It is not without significance to find that in the year following the
official foundation of the _Stricte Observance_, that is to say in 1752,
Lord Holdernesse, in a letter to the British Ambassador in Paris, Lord
Albemarle, headed "Very secret," speaks of "the influence which the King
of Prussia has of late obtained over all the French Councils"; and a few
weeks later Lord Albemarle refers to "the great influence of the
Prussian Court over the French Councils by which they are so blinded as
not to be able to judge for themselves."[417]

But it is time to turn to another sphere of activity which Masonry
opened out to the ambitions of Frederick.

The making of the _Encyclopedie_, which even those writers the most
sceptical with regard to secret influences behind the revolutionary
movement admit to have contributed towards the final cataclysm, is a
question on which official history has thrown but little light.
According to the authorized version of the story--as related, for
example, in Lord Morley's work on the Encyclopaedists--the plan of
translating Ephraim Chambers's _Cyclopaedia_, which had appeared in 1728,
was suggested to Diderot "some fifteen years later" by a French
bookseller named Le Breton. Diderot's "fertile and energetic
intelligence transformed the scheme.... It was resolved to make
Chambers's work a mere starting-point for a new enterprise of far wider
scope." We then go on to read of the financial difficulties that now
beset the publisher, of the embarrassment of Diderot, who "felt himself
unequal to the task of arranging and supervising every department of a
new book that was to include the whole circle of the sciences," of the
fortunate enlisting of d'Alembert as a collaborator, and later of men
belonging to all kinds of professions, "all united in a work that was as
useful as it was laborious, without any view of interest ... without any
common understanding and agreement," further, of the cruel persecutions
encountered at the hands of the Jesuits, "who had expected at least to
have control of the articles on theology," and finally of the tyrannical
suppression of the great work on account of the anti-Christian
tendencies these same articles displayed.[418]

Now for a further light on the matter.

In the famous speech of the Chevalier Ramsay already quoted, which was
delivered at Grand Lodge of Paris in 1737, the following passage occurs:

     The fourth quality required in our Order is the taste for useful
     sciences and the liberal arts. Thus, the Order exacts of each of
     you to contribute, by his protection, liberality, or labour, to a
     vast work for which no academy can suffice, because all these
     societies being composed of a very small number of men, their work
     cannot embrace an object so extended. All the Grand Masters in
     Germany, England, Italy, and elsewhere exhort all the learned men
     and all the artisans of the Fraternity to unite to furnish the
     materials for a Universal Dictionary of all the liberal arts and
     useful sciences; excepting only theology and politics. The work has
     already been commenced in London, and by means of the unions of our
     brothers it may be carried to a conclusion in a few years.[419]

So after all it was no enterprising bookseller, no brilliantly inspired
philosopher, who conceived the idea of the _Encyclopedie_, but a
powerful international organization able to employ the services of more
men than all the academies could supply, which devised the scheme at
least six years before the date at which it is said to have occurred to
Diderot. Thus the whole story as usually told to us would appear to be a
complete fabrication--struggling publishers, toiling _litterateurs_
carrying out their superhuman task as "independent men of letters"
without the patronage of the great--which Lord Morley points out as "one
of the most important facts in the history of the Encyclopaedia"--writers
of all kinds bound together by no "common understanding or agreement,"
are all seen in reality to have been closely associated as "artisans of
the Fraternity" carrying out the orders of their superiors.

The _Encyclopedie_ was therefore essentially a Masonic publication, and
Papus, whilst erroneously attributing the famous oration and
consequently the plan of the _Encyclopedie_ to the inspiration of the
Duc d'Antin, emphasizes the importance of this fact. Thus, he writes:

     The Revolution manifests itself by two stages:

     1st. _Intellectual revolution_, by the publication of the
     _Encyclopedie_, due to French Freemasonry under the high
     inspiration of the Duc d'Antin.

     2nd. _Occult revolution_ in the Lodges, due in great part to the
     members of the Templar Rite and executed by a group of expelled
     Freemasons afterwards amnestied.[420]

The masonic authorship of the _Encyclopedie_ and the consequent
dissemination of revolutionary doctrines has remained no matter of doubt
to the Freemasons of France; on the contrary, they glory in the fact. At
the congress of the Grand Orient in 1904 the Freemason Bonnet declared:

     In the eighteenth century the glorious line of Encyclopaedists
     formed in our temples a fervent audience which was then alone in
     invoking the radiant device as yet unknown to the crowd: "Liberty,
     Equality, Fraternity." The revolutionary seed quickly germinated
     amidst this _elite_. Our illustrious Freemasons d'Alembert,
     Diderot, Helvetius, d'Holbach, Voltaire, Condorcet, completed the
     evolution of minds and prepared the new era. And, when the Bastille
     fell, Freemasonry had the supreme honour of giving to humanity the
     charter (i.e. the Declaration of the Rights of Man) which it had
     elaborated with devotion. (_Applause_.)

This charter, the orator went on to say, was the work of the Freemason
Lafayette, and was adopted by the Constituent Assembly, of which more
than 300 members were Freemasons.

But in using the lodges to sow the seeds of revolution, the
Encyclopaedists betrayed not only the cause of monarchy but of Masonry as
well. It will be noticed that, in conformity with true masonic
principles, Ramsay in his oration expressly stated that the encyclopaedia
was to concern itself with the liberal arts and sciences[421] and that
theology and politics were to be excluded from the contemplated scheme.
How, then, did it come to pass that these were eventually the two
subjects to which the Encyclopaedists devoted the greatest attention, so
that their work became principally an attack on Church and monarchy? If
Papus was right in attributing this revolutionary tendency to the
_Encyclopedie_ from the time of the famous oration, then Ramsay could
only be set down as the profoundest hypocrite or as the mouthpiece of
hypocrites professing intentions the very reverse of their real designs.
A far more probable explanation seems to be that during the interval
between Ramsay's speech and the date when the _Encyclopedie_ was begun
in earnest, the scheme underwent a change. It will be noticed that the
year of 1746, when Diderot and d'Alembert are said to have embarked on
their task, coincided with the decadence of French Freemasonry under the
Comte de Clermont and the invasion of the lodges by the subversive
elements; thus the project propounded with the best intentions by the
Freemasons of 1737 was filched by their revolutionary successors and
turned to a diametrically opposite purpose.

But it is not to the dancing-master Lacorne and his middle-class
following that we can attribute the efficiency with which not only the
_Encyclopedie_ but a host of minor revolutionary publications were
circulated all over France. Frederick the Great had seen his
opportunity. If I am right in my surmise that Ramsay's speech had
reached the ears of Frederick, the prospect of the _Encyclopedie_
contained therein may well have appeared to him a magnificent method for
obtaining a footing in the intellectual circles of France; hence then,
doubtless, an additional reason for his hasty initiation into Masonry,
his summons to Voltaire, and his subsequent overtures to Diderot and
d'Alembert, who, by the time the first volume of the _Encyclopedie_
appeared in 1751, had both been made members of the Royal Academy of
Prussia. In the following year Frederick offered d'Alembert the
presidency of the Academy in place of Maupertuis, an offer which was
refused; but in 1755 and again in 1763 d'Alembert visited Frederick in
Germany and received his pension regularly from Berlin. It is therefore
not surprising that when the _Encyclopedie_ had reached the letter P, it
included, in an unsigned article on Prussia, a panegyric on the virtues
and the talents of the illustrious monarch who presided over the
destinies of that favoured country.

The art of Frederick the Great, as of his successors on the throne of
the Hohenzollerns, was to make use of every movement that could further
the design of Prussian supremacy. He used the Freemasons as he used the
philosophers and as he used the Jews, to carry out his great scheme--the
destruction of the French monarchy and of the alliance between France
and Austria. Whilst through his representatives at the Court of France
he was able to create discord between Versailles and Vienna and bring
discredit on Marie Antoinette, through his allies in the masonic lodges
and in the secret societies he was able to reach the people of France.
The gold and the printing presses of Frederick the Great were added to
those of the Orleanistes for the circulation of seditious literature
throughout the provinces.[422]

So as the century advanced the association founded by Royalists and
Catholics was turned into an engine of destruction by revolutionary
intriguers; the rites and symbols were gradually perverted to an end
directly opposed to that for which they had been instituted, and the two
degrees of Rose-Croix and Knight Kadosch came to symbolize respectively
war on religion and war on the monarchy of France.

It is no orthodox Catholic but an occultist and Rosicrucian who thus
describes the role of Masonry in the Revolution:

     Masonry has not only been profaned but it has been served as a
     cover and pretext for the plots of anarchy, by the occult influence
     of the avengers of Jacques du Molay and the continuers of the
     schismatic work of the Temple. Instead of avenging the death of
     Hiram, they have avenged his assassins. The anarchists have taken
     the plumb-line, the square, and the mallet and have written on them
     liberty, equality, fraternity. That is to say, liberty for
     envyings, equality in degradation, fraternity for destruction.
     Those are the men whom the Church has justly condemned and that she
     will always condemn.[423]

But it is time to turn to another masonic power which meanwhile had
entered the lists, the Martinistes or French Illumines.

French Illuminism

Whilst Frederick the Great, the Freemasons, the Encyclopaedists, and the
Orleanistes were working on the material plane to undermine the Church
and monarchy in France, another cult had arisen which by the middle of
the century succeeded in insinuating itself into the lodges. This was a
recrudescence of the old craze for occultism, which now spread like
wildfire all over Europe from Bordeaux to St. Petersburg. During the
reign of Anna of Courland (1730-40) the Russian Court was permeated with
superstition, and professional magicians and charlatans of every kind
were encouraged. The upper classes of Germany in the eighteenth century
proved equally susceptible to the attractions of the supernatural, and
princes desirous of long life or greater power eagerly pursued the quest
of the Philosopher's Stone, the "Elixir of Life," and evoked spirits
under the direction of occultists in their service.

In France occultism, reduced to a system, adopted the outer forms of
Masonry as a cover to the propagation of its doctrines. It was in 1754
that Martines de Pasqually (or Paschalis), a Rose-Croix Mason,[424]
founded his Order of Elus Cohens (Elected Priests), known later as the
_Martinistes_ or the French _Illumines_. Although brought up in the
Christian faith, Pasqually has been frequently described as a Jew. The
Baron de Gleichen, himself a Martiniste and a member of the Amis
Reunis,[425] throws an interesting light on the matter in this passage:
"Pasqualis was originally Spanish, perhaps of the Jewish race, since
his disciples inherited from him a large number of Jewish

It was "this Cabalistic sect,"[427] the Martinistes, which now became
the third great masonic power in France.

The rite of the Martinistes was broadly divided into two classes, in the
first of which was represented the fall of man and in the second his
final restoration--a further variation on the masonic theme of a loss
and a recovery. After the first three Craft degrees came the Cohen
degrees of the same--Apprentice Cohen, Fellow Craft Cohen, and Master
Cohen--then those of Grand Architect, Grand Elect of Zerubbabel or
Knight of the East: but above these were concealed degrees leading up to
the Rose-Croix, which formed the capstone of the edifice.[428] Pasqually
first established his rite at Marseilles, Toulouse, and Bordeaux, then
in Paris, and before long Martiniste lodges spread all over France with
the centre at Lyons under the direction of Willermoz, a prosperous
merchant living there. From this moment other occult Orders sprang up in
all directions. In 1760 Dom Pernetti founded his sect of "Illumines
d'Avignon" in that city, declaring himself a high initiate of
Freemasonry and teaching the doctrines of Swedenborg. Later a certain
Chastanier founded the "Illumines Theosophes," a modified version of
Pernetti's rite; and in 1783 the Marquis de Thome started a purified
variety of Swedenborgianism under the name of "Rite of Swedenborg."

Beneath all these occult sects one common source of inspiration is to be
found--the perverted and magical Cabala of the Jews, that conglomeration
of wild theosophical imaginings and barbaric superstitions founded on
ancient pagan cults and added to throughout seventeen centuries by
succeeding generations of Jewish occultists.[429] This influence is
particularly to be detected in the various forms of the Rose-Croix
degree, which in nearly all these associations forms the highest and
most secret degree. The ritual of "the eminent Order of the Knights of
the Black Eagle or Sovereigns of the Rose-Croix," a secret and
unpublished document of the eighteenth century, which differs entirely
from the published rituals, explains that no one can attain to knowledge
of the higher sciences without the "Clavicules de Salomon," of which
the real secrets were never committed to print and which is said to
contain the whole of Cabalistic science.[430] The catechism of this same
degree deals mainly with the transmutation of metals, the Philosopher's
Stone, etc.

In the Rite of Perfection as worked in France and America this
Cabalistic influence is shown in those degrees known under the name of
the "Ineffable Degrees," derived from the Jewish belief in the mystery
that surrounds the Ineflable Name of God. According to the custom of the
Jews, the sacred name Jehovah or Jah-ve, composed of the four letters
yod, he, vau, he, which formed the Tetragrammaton, was never to be
pronounced by the profane, who were obliged to substitute for it the
word "Adonai." The Tetragrammaton might only be uttered once a year on
the Day of Atonement by the High Priest in the Holy of Holies amid the
sound of trumpets and cymbals, which prevented the people from hearing
it. It is said that in consequence of the people thus refraining from
its utterance, the true pronunciation of the name was at last lost. The
Jews further believed that the Tetragrammaton was possessed of unbounded
powers. "He who pronounces it shakes heaven and earth and inspires the
very angels with astonishment and terror."[431] The Ineffable Name thus
conferred miraculous gifts; it was engraved on the rod of Moses and
enabled him to perform wonders, just as, according to the Toledot Yeshu,
it conferred the same powers on Christ.

This superstition was clearly a part of Rosicrucian tradition, for the
symbol of the Tetragrammaton within a triangle, adopted by the masonic
lodges, figures in Fludd's Cabalistic system.[432] In the "Ineffable
degrees" it was invested with all the mystic awe by which it is
surrounded in Jewish theology, and, according to early American working:
"Brothers and Companions of these degrees received the name of God as it
was revealed to Enoch and were sworn to pronounce it but once in their

In the alchemical version of the Rose-Croix degree referred to above the
Ineffable Name is actually invested with magical powers as in the
Jewish Cabala. Ragon, after describing the Jewish ceremony when the word
Jehovah was pronounced by the High Priest in the Holy of Holies, goes on
to say that "Schem-hamm-phorasch," another term for the Tetragrammaton,
forms the sacred word of a Scotch degree, and that this belief in its
mystic properties "will be found at the head of the instructions for the
third degree of the Knight of the Black Eagle, called Rose-Croix," thus:

     Q. What is the most powerful name of God on the pentaculum?
     A. Adonai.
     Q. What is its power?
     A. To move the Universe.

     That one of the Knights who had the good fortune to pronounce it
     cabalistically would have at his disposal the powers that inhabit
     the four elements and the celestial spirits, and would possess all
     the virtues possible to man.[433]

That this form of the Rose-Croix was of purely Jewish origin is thus
clearly evident. In the address to the candidate for initiation into the
Rose-Croix degree at the Lodge of the "Contrat Social" it is stated:

     This degree, which includes an Order of Perfect Masons, was brought
     to light by Brother R., who took it from the Kabbalistic treasure
     of the Doctor and Rabbi Neamuth, chief of the synagogue of Leyden
     in Holland, who had preserved its precious secrets and its costume,
     both of which we shall see in the same order in which he placed
     them in his mysterious Talmud.[434]

Now, we know that in the eighteenth century a society of Rosicrucian
magicians had been instituted in Florence which was believed to date
back to the fifteenth century and to have been partly, if not wholly
composed of Orientals, as we shall see in the next chapter; but it seems
probable that this sect, whilst secretly inspiring the Rose-Croix
masons, was itself either nameless or concealed under a disguise. Thus
in 1782 an English Freemason writes: "I have found some rather curious
MSS. in Algiers in Hebrew relating to the society of the Rosicrucians,
which exists at present under another name with the same forms. I hope,
moreover to be admitted to their knowledge."[435]

It has frequently been argued that Jews can have played no part in
Freemasonry at this period since they themselves were not admitted to
the lodges. But this is by no means certain; in the article from _The
Gentleman's Magazine_ already quoted it is stated that Jews are
admitted; de Luchet further quotes the instance of David Moses Hertz
received in a London lodge in 1787; and the author of _Les Franc-Masons
ecrases_, published in 1746, states that he has seen three Jews received
into a lodge at Amsterdam. In the "Melchisedeck Lodges" of the Continent
non-Christians were openly admitted, and here again the Rose-Croix
degree occupies the most important place. The highest degrees of this
rite were the Initiated Brothers of Asia, the Masters of the Wise, and
the Royal Priests, otherwise known as the degree of Melchisedeck or the
true Brothers of the Rose-Croix.

This Order, usually described as the _Asiatic Brethren_, of which the
centre was in Vienna and the leader a certain Baron von Eckhoffen, is
said to have been a continuation of the "Brothers of the Golden and Rosy
Cross," a revival of the seventeenth-century Rosicrucians organized in
1710 by a Saxon priest, Samuel Richter, known as Sincerus Renatus. The
real origins of the Asiatic Brethren are, however, obscure and little
literature on the subject is to be found in this country.[436] Their
further title of "the Knights and Brethren of St. John the Evangelist"
suggests Johannite inspiration and was clearly an imposture, since they
included Jews, Turks, Persians, and Armenians. De Luchet, who as a
contemporary was in a position to acquire first-hand information, thus
describes the organization of the Order, which, it will be seen, was
entirely Judaic. "The superior direction is called the small and
constant Sanhedrim of Europe. The names of those employed by which they
conceal themselves from their inferiors are Hebrew. The signs of the
third principal degree (i.e. the Rose-Croix) are Urim and Thummim....
The Order has the true secrets and the explanations, moral and
physical, of the hierogyphics of the very venerable Order of
Freemasonry."[437] The initiate had to swear absolute submission and
unswerving obedience to the laws of the Order and to follow its laws
implicitly to the end of his life, without asking by whom they were
given or whence they came.

"Who," asks de Luchet, "gave to the Order these so-called secrets? That
is the great and insidious question for the secret societies. But the
Initiate who remains, and must remain eternally in the Order, never
finds this out, he dare not even ask it, he must promise never to ask
it. In this way those who participate in the secrets of the Order remain
the Masters."

Again, as in the _Stricte Observance_, the same system of "Concealed
Superiors"--the same blind obedience to unknown directors!

Under the guidance of these various sects of Illumines a wave of
occultism swept over France, and lodges everywhere became centres of
instruction on the Cabala, magic, divination, alchemy, and
theosophy[438]; masonic rites degenerated into ceremonies for the
evocation of spirits--women, who were now admitted to these assemblies,
screamed, fainted, fell into convulsions, and lent themselves to
experiments of the most horrible kind.[439]

By means of these occult practices the _Illumines_ in time became the
third great masonic power in France, and the rival Orders perceived the
expediency of joining forces. Accordingly in 1771 an amalgamation of all
the masonic groups was effected at the new lodge of the _Amis Reunis_.

The founder of this lodge was Savalette de Langes, Keeper of the Royal
Treasury, Grand Officer of the Grand Orient, and a high initiate of
Masonry--"versed in all mysteries, in all the lodges, and in all the
plots." In order to unite them he made his lodge a mixture of all
sophistic, Martiniste, and masonic systems, "and as a bait to the
aristocracy organized balls and concerts at which the adepts, male and
female, danced and feasted, or sang of the beauties of their liberty
and equality, little knowing that above them was a secret committee
which was arranging to extend this equality beyond the lodge to rank and
fortune, to castles and to cottages, to marquesses and bourgeois"

A further development of the Amis Reunis was the Rite of the
_Philalethes_, compounded by Savalette de Langes in 1773 out of
Swedenborgian, Martiniste, and Rosicrucian mysteries, into which the
higher initiates of the Amis Reunis--Court de Gebelin, the Prince de
Hesse, Condorcet, the Vicomte de Tavannes, Willermoz, and others--were
initiated. A modified form of this rite was instituted at Narbonne in
1780 under the name of "Free and Accepted Masons du Rit Primitif," the
English nomenclature being adopted (according to Clavel) in order to
make it appear that the rite emanated from England. In reality its
founder, the Marquis de Chefdebien d'Armisson, a member of the Grand
Orient and of the Amis Reunis, drew his inspiration from certain German
Freemasons with whom he maintained throughout close relations and who
were presumably members of the Stricte Observance, since Chefdebien was
a member of this Order, in which he bore the title of "Eques a Capite
Galeato." The correspondence that passed between Chefdebien and
Salvalette de Langes, recently discovered and published in France, is
one of the most illuminating records of the masonic ramifications in
existence before the Revolution ever brought to light.[441] To judge by
the tone of these letters, the leaders of the Rit Primitif would appear
to have been law-abiding and loyal gentlemen devoted to the Catholic
religion, yet in their passion for new forms of Masonry and thirst for
occult lore ready to associate themselves with every kind of adventurer
and charlatan who might be able to initiate them into further mysteries.
In the curious notes drawn up by Savalette for the guidance of the
Marquis de Chefdebien we catch a glimpse of the power behind the
philosophers of the _salons_ and the aristocratic adepts of the
lodges--the professional magicians and men of mystery; and behind these
again the concealed directors of the secret societies, the _real

The Magicians

The part played by magicians during the period preceding the French
Revolution is of course a matter of common knowledge and has never been
disputed by official history. But like the schools of philosophers this
sudden crop of magicians is always represented as a sporadic growth
called into being by the idle and curious society of the day. The
important point to realize is that just as the philosophers were all
Freemasons, the principal magicians were not only Freemasons but members
of occult secret societies. It is therefore not as isolated charlatans
but as agents of some hidden power that we must regard the men whom we
will now pass in a rapid survey.

One of the first to appear in the field was Schroepfer, a coffee-house
keeper of Leipzig, who declared that no one could be a true Freemason
without practising magic. Accordingly he proclaimed himself the
"reformer of Freemasonry," and set up a lodge in his own house with a
rite based on the Rose-Croix degree for the purpose of evoking spirits.
The meetings took place at dead of night, when by means of carefully
arranged lights, magic mirrors, and possibly of electricity, Schroepfer
contrived to produce apparitions which his disciples--under the
influence of strong punch--took to be visitors from the other
world.[442] In the end Schroepfer, driven crazy by his own incantations,
blew out his brains in a garden near Leipzig.

According to Lecouteulx de Canteleu, it was Schroepfer who indoctrinated
the famous "Comte de Saint-Germain"--"The Master" of our modern
co-masonic lodges. The identity of this mysterious personage has never
been established[443]; by some contemporaries he was said to be a
natural son of the King of Portugal, by others the son of a Jew and a
Polish Princess. The Duc de Choiseul on being asked whether he knew the
origin of Saint-Germain replied: "No doubt we know it, he is the son of
a Portuguese Jew who exploits the credulity of the town and Court."[444]
In 1780 a rumour went round that his father was a Jew of Bordeaux,
but according to the _Souvenirs of the Marquise de Crequy_ the Baron de
Breteuil discovered from the archives of his Ministry that the pretended
Comte de Saint-Germain was the son of a Jewish doctor of Strasburg, that
his real name was Daniel Wolf, and that he was born in 1704.[445] The
general opinion thus appears to have been in favour of his Jewish

Saint-German seems first to have been heard of in Germany about 1740,
where his marvellous powers attracted the attention of the Marechal de
Belle-Isle, who, always the ready dupe of charlatans, brought him back
with him to the Court of France, where he speedily gained the favour of
Madame de Pompadour. The Marquise before long presented him to the King,
who granted him an apartment at Chambord and, enchanted by his brilliant
wit, frequently spent long evenings in conversation with him in the
rooms of Madame de Pompadour. Meanwhile his invention of flat-bottomed
boats for the invasion of England raised him still higher in the
estimation of the Marechal de Belle-Isle. In 1761 we hear of him as
living in great splendour in Holland and giving out that he had reached
the age of seventy-four, though appearing to be only fifty; if this were
so, he must have been ninety-seven at the time of his death in 1784 at
Schleswig. But this feat of longevity is far from satisfying his modern
admirers, who declare that Saint-Germain did not die in 1784, but is
still alive to-day in some corner of Eastern Europe. This is in
accordance with the theory, said to have been circulated by
Saint-Germain himself, that by the eighteenth century he had passed
through several incarnations and that the last one had continued for
1,500 years. Barruel, however, explains that Saint-Germain in thus
referring to his age spoke in masonic language, in which a man who has
taken the first degree is said to be three years old, after the second
five, or the third seven, so that by means of the huge increase the
higher degrees conferred it might be quite possible for an exalted adept
to attain the age of 1,500.

Saint-Germain has been represented by modern writers--not only those who
compose his following--as a person of extraordinary attainments, a sort
of super-man towering over the minor magicians of his day.
Contemporaries, however, take him less seriously and represent him
rather as an expert charlatan whom the wits of the _salons_ made the
butt of pleasantries. His principal importance to the subject of this
book consists, however, in his influence on the secret societies.
According to the _Memoires authentiques pour servir a l'histoire du
Comte de Cagliostro_, Saint-Germain was the "Grand Master of
Freemasonry,"[446] and it was he who initiated Cagliostro into the
mysteries of Egyptian masonry.

Joseph Balsamo, born in 1743, who assumed the name of Comte de
Cagliostro, as a magician far eclipsed his master. Like Saint-Germain,
he was generally reputed to be a Jew--the son of Pietro Balsamo, a
Sicilian tradesman of Jewish origin[447]--and he made no secret of his
arden admiration for the Jewish race. After the death of his parents he
escaped from the monastery in which he had been placed at Palermo and
joined himself to a man known as Altotas, said to have been an Armenian,
with whom he travelled to Greece and Egypt[448]. Cagliostro's travels
later took him to Poland and Germany, where he was initiated into
Freemasonry[449], and finally to France; but it was in England that he
himself declared that he elaborated his famous "Egyptian Rite," which he
founded officially in 1782. According to his own account, this rite was
derived from a manuscript by a certain George Cofton--whose identity has
never been discovered--which he bought by chance in London[450]. Yarker,
however, expresses the opinion that "the rite of Cagliostro was clearly
that of Pasqually," and that if he acquired it from a manuscript in
London it would indicate that Pasquilly had disciples in that city. A
far more probable explanation is that Cagliostro derived his Egyptian
masonry from the same source as that on which Pasqually had drawn for
his Order of Martinistes, namely the Cabala, and that it was not from a
single manuscript but from an eminent Jewish Cabalist in London that he
took his instructions. Who this may have been we shall soon see. At any
rate, in a contemporary account of Cagliostro we find him described as
"a doctor initiated into Cabalistic art" and a Rose-Croix; but after
founding his own rite he acquired the name of Grand Copht, that is to
say, Supreme Head of Egyptian Masonry, a new branch that he wished to
graft on to old European Freemasonry.[451] We shall return to his
further masonic adventures later.

In a superior category to Saint-German and Cagliostro was the famous
Swabian doctor Mesmer, who has given his name to an important branch of
natural science. In about 1780 Mesmer announced his great discovery of
"animal magnetism, the principle of life in all organized beings, the
soul of all that breathes." But if to-day Mesmerism has come to be
regarded as almost synonymous with hypnotism and in no way a branch of
occultism, Mesmer himself--stirring the fluid in his magic bucket,
around which his disciples wept, slept, fell into trances or
convulsions, raved or prophesied[452]--earned not unnaturally the
reputation of a charlatan. The Freemasons, eager to discover the secret
of the magic bucket, hastened to enrol him in their Order, and Mesmer
was received into the Primitive Rite of Free and Accepted Masons in

Space forbids a description of the minor magicians who flourished at
this period--of _Schroeder_, founder in 1776 of a chapter of "True and
Ancient Rose-Croix Masons," practising certain magical, theosophical,
and alchemical degrees; of _Gassner_, worker of miracles in the
neighbourhood of Ratisbonne; of "the Jew Leon," one of a band of
charlatans who made large sums of money with magic mirrors in which the
imaginative were able to see their absent friends, and who was finally
banished from France by the police,--all these and many others exploited
the credulity and curiosity of the upper classes both in France and
Germany between the years of 1740 and 1790. De Luchet, writing before
the French Revolution, describes the part played in their mysteries by
the soul of a Cabalistic Jew named Gablidone who had lived before
Christ, and who predicted that "in the year 1800 there will be, on our
globe, a very remarkable revolution, and there will be no other religion
but that of the patriarchs."[454]

How are we to account for this extraordinary wave of Cabalism in Western
Europe? By whom was it inspired? If, as Jewish writers assure us,
neither Marlines Pasqually, Saint-Germain, Cagliostro, nor any of the
visible occultists or magicians were Jews, the problem only becomes the
more insoluble. We cannot believe that Sanhedrims, Hebrew hieroglyphics,
the contemplation of the Tetragrammaton, and other Cabalistic rites
originated in the brains of French and German aristocrats, philosophers,
and Freemasons. Let us turn, then, to events taking place at this moment
in the world of Jewry and see whether these may provide some clue.



It has been shown in the preceding chapters that the Jewish Cabala
played an important part in the occult and anti-Christian sects from the
very beginning of the Christian era. The time has now come to enquire
what part Jewish influence played meanwhile in revolutions. Merely to
ask the question is to bring on oneself the accusation of
"anti-Semitism," yet the Jewish writer Bernard Lazare has shown the
falseness of this charge:

     This [he writes] is what must separate the impartial historian from
     anti-Semitism. The anti-Semite says: "The Jew is the preparer, the
     machinator, the chief engineer of revolutions"; the impartial
     historian confines himself to studying the part which the Jew,
     considering his spirit, his character, the nature of his
     philosophy, and his religion, may have taken in revolutionary
     processes and movements.[455]

Lazare himself expresses the opinion, however, that--

     The complaint of the anti-Semites seems to be founded: the Jew has
     the revolutionary spirit; consciously or not he is an agent of
     revolution. Yet the complaint complicates itself, for anti-Semitism
     accuses the Jews of being the cause of revolutions. Let us examine
     what this accusation is worth....[456]

In the light of our present knowledge it would certainly be absurd to
ascribe to the Jews the authorship of the conspiracy of Catiline or of
the Gracchi, the rising of Jack Straw and Wat Tyler, Jack Cade's
rebellion, the _jacqueries_ of France, or the Peasants' Wars in Germany,
although historical research may lead in time to the discovery of
certain occult influences--not necessarily Jewish--behind the European
insurrections here referred to. Moreover, apart from grievances or
other causes of rebellion, the revolutionary spirit has always existed
independently of the Jews. In all times and in all countries there have
been men born to make trouble as the sparks fly upward.

Nevertheless, in modern revolutions the part played by the Jews cannot
be ignored, and the influence they have exercised will be seen on
examination to have been twofold--financial and occult. Throughout the
Middle Ages it is as sorcerers and usurers that they incur the
reproaches of the Christian world, and it is still in the same role,
under the more modern terms of magicians and loan-mongers, that we
detect their presence behind the scenes of revolution from the
seventeenth century onward. Wherever money was to be made out of social
or political upheavals, wealthy Jews have been found to back the winning
side; and wherever the Christian races have turned against their own
institutions, Jewish Rabbis, philosophers, professors, and occultists
have lent them their support. It was not then necessarily that Jews
created these movements, but they knew how to make use of them for their
own ends.

It is thus that in the Great Rebellion we find them not amongst the
Ironsides of Cromwell or the members of his State Council, but
furnishing money and information to the insurgents, acting as army
contractors, loan-mongers, and super-spies--or to use the more
euphonious term of Mr. Lucien Wolf, as "political intelligencers" of
extraordinary efficiency. Thus Mr. Lucien Wolf, in referring to
Carvajal, "the great Jew of the Commonwealth," explains that "the wide
ramifications of his commercial transactions and his relations with
other Crypto-Jews all over the world placed him in an unrivalled
position to obtain news of the enemies of the Commonwealth."[457]

It is obvious that a "secret service" of this kind rendered the Jews a
formidable hidden power, the more so since their very existence was
frequently unknown to the rest of the population around them. This
precaution was necessary because Jews were not supposed to exist at that
date in England. In 1290 Edward I had expelled them all, and for three
and a half centuries they had remained in exile; the Crypto-Jews or
Marranos who had come over from Spain contrived, however, to remain in
the country by skilfully taking the colour of their surroundings. Mr.
Wolf goes on to observe that Jewish services were regularly held in the
secret Synagogue, but "in public Carvajal and his friends followed the
practice of the secret Jews in Spain and Portugal, passing as Roman
Catholics and regularly attending mass in the Spanish Ambassador's
chapel."[458] But when war between England and Spain rendered this
expedient inadvisable, the Marranos threw off the disguise of
Christianity and proclaimed themselves followers of the Jewish faith.

Now, just at this period the Messianic era was generally believed by the
Jews to be approaching, and it appears to have occurred to them that
Cromwell might be fitted to the part. Consequently emissaries were
despatched to search the archives of Cambridge in order to discover
whether the Protector could possibly be of Jewish descent.[459] This
quest proving fruitless, the Cabalist Rabbi of Amsterdam, Manasseh ben
Israel,[460] addressed a petition to Cromwell for the readmission of the
Jews to England, in which he adroitly insisted on the retribution that
overtakes those who afflict the people of Israel and the rewards that
await those who "cherish" them. These arguments were not without effect
on Cromwell, who entertained the same superstition, and although he is
said to have declined the Jews' offer to buy St. Paul's Cathedral and
the Bodleian Library because he considered the L500,000 they offered
inadequate,[461] he exerted every effort to obtain their readmission to
the country. In this he encountered violent opposition, and it seems
that Jews were not permitted to return in large numbers, or at any rate
to enjoy full rights and privileges, until after the accession of
Charles II, who in his turn had enlisted their financial aid.[462]
Later, in 1688, the Jews of Amsterdam helped with their credit the
expedition of William of Orange against James II; the former in return
brought many Jews with him to England. So a Jewish writer is able to
boast that "a Monarch reigned who was indebted to Hebrew gold for his
royal diadem."[463]

In all this it is impossible to follow any consecutive political plan;
the role of the Jews seems to have been to support no cause consistently
but to obtain a footing in every camp, to back any venture that offered
a chance of profit. Yet mingled with these material designs were still
their ancient Messianic dreams. It is curious to note that the same
Messianic idea pervaded the Levellers, the rebels of the Commonwealth;
such phrases as "Let Israel go free," "Israel's restoration is now
beginning," recur frequently in the literature of the sect. Gerard
Winstanley, one of the two principal leaders, addressed an epistle to
"the Twelve Tribes of Israel that are circumcised in heart and scattered
through all the Nations of the Earth," and promised them "David their
King that they have been waiting for." The other leader of the movement,
by name Everard, in fact declared, when summoned before the Lord Fairfax
at Whitehall, that "he was of the race of the Jews."[464] It is true
that the Levellers were by profession Christian, but after the manner of
the Bavarian Illuminati and of the Christian Socialists two centuries
later, claiming Christ as the author of their Communistic and
equalitarian doctrines: "For Jesus Christ, the Saviour of all Men, is
the greatest, first, and truest Leveller that ever was spoken of in the
world." The Levellers are said to have derived originally from the
German Anabaptists; but Claudio Jannet, quoting German authorities,
shows that there were Jews amongst the Anabaptists. "They were carried
away by their hatred of the name of Christian and imagined that their
dreams of the restoration of the kingdom of Israel would be realized
amidst the conflagration."[465] Whether this was so or not, it is clear
that by the middle of the seventeenth century the mystical ideas of
Judaism had penetrated into all parts of Europe. Was there then some
Cabalistic centre from which they radiated? Let us turn our eyes
eastward and we shall see.

Since the sixteenth century the great mass of Jewry had settled in
Poland, and a succession of miracle-workers known by the name of
Zaddikim or Ba'al Shems had arisen. The latter word, which signifies
"Master of the Name," originated with the German Polish Jews and was
derived from the Cabalistic belief in the miraculous use of the sacred
name of Jehovah, known as the Tetragrammaton.

According to Cabalistic traditions, certain Jews of peculiar sanctity or
knowledge were able with impunity to make use of the Divine Name. A
Ba'al Shem was therefore one who had acquired this power and employed it
in writing amulets, invoking spirits, and prescribing cures for various
diseases. Poland and particularly Podolia--which had not yet been ceded
to Russia--became thus a centre of Cabalism where a series of
extraordinary movements of a mystical kind followed each other. In 1666,
when the Messianic era was still believed to be approaching, the whole
Jewish world was convulsed by the sudden appearance of Shabbethai Zebi,
the son of a poulterer in Smyrna named Mordecai, who proclaimed himself
the promised Messiah and rallied to his support a huge following not
only amongst the Jews of Palestine, Egypt, and Eastern Europe, but even
the hard-headed Jews of the Continental bourses.[466] Samuel Pepys in
his Diary refers to the bets made amongst the Jews in London on the
chances of "a certain person now in Smyrna" being acclaimed King of the
World and the true Messiah.[467]

Shabbethai, who was an expert Cabalist and had the temerity to utter the
Ineffable Name Jehovah, was said to be possessed of marvellous powers,
his skin exuded exquisite perfume, he indulged perpetually in
sea-bathing and lived in a state of chronic ecstasy. The pretensions of
Shabbethai, who took the title of "King of the Kings of the Earth,"
split Jewry in two; many Rabbis launched imprecations against him, and
those who had believed in him were bitterly disillusioned when,
challenged by the Sultan to prove his claim to be the Messiah by
allowing poisoned arrows to be shot at him, he suddenly renounced the
Jewish faith and proclaimed himself a Mohammedan. His conversion,
however, appeared to be only partial, for "at times he would assume the
role of a pious Mohammedan and revile Judaism; at others he would enter
into relations with Jews as one of their own faith."[468] By this means
he retained the allegiance both of Moslems and of Jews. But the Rabbis,
alarmed for the cause of Judaism, succeeded in obtaining his
incarceration by the Sultan in a castle near Belgrade, where he died of
colic in 1676.[469]

This prosaic ending to the career of the Messiah did not, however,
altogether extinguish the enthusiasm of his followers, and the
Shabbethan movement continued into the next century. In Poland Cabalism
broke out with renewed energy; fresh Zaddikim and Ba'al Shems arose, the
most noted of these being Israel of Podolia, known as Ba'al Shem Tob, or
by the initial letters of this name, Besht, who founded his sect of
Hasidim in 1740.

Besht, whilst opposing bigoted Rabbinism and claiming the Zohar as his
inspiration, did not, however, adhere strictly to the doctrine of the
Cabala that the universe was an emanation of God, but evolved a form of
Pantheism, declaring that the whole universe was God, that even evil
exists in God since evil is not bad in itself but only in its relation
to Man; sin therefore has no positive existence.[470] As a result the
followers of Besht, calling themselves the "New Saints," and at his
death numbering no less than 40,000, threw aside not only the precepts
of the Talmud, but all the restraints of morality and even decency.[471]

Another Ba'al Shem of the same period was Heilprin, alias Joel Ben Uri
of Satanov, who, like Israel of Podolia, professed to perform miracles
by the use of the Divine Name and collected around him many pupils, who,
on the death of their master, "formed a band of charlatans and
shamelessly exploited the credulity of their contemporaries."[472]

But the most important of these Cabalistic groups was that of the
Frankists, who were sometimes known as the Zoharists or the
Illuminated,[473] from their adherence to the Zohar or book of Light, or
in their birthplace Podolia as the Shabbethan Zebists, from their
allegiance to the false Messiah of the preceding century--a heresy that
had been "kept alive in secret circles which had something akin to a
masonic organization."[474] The founder of this sect was Jacob Frank, a
brandy distiller profoundly versed in the doctrines of the Cabala, who
in 1755 collected around him a large following in Podolia and lived in a
style of oriental magnificence, maintained by vast wealth of which no
one ever discovered the source. The persecution to which he was
subjected by the Rabbis led the Catholic clergy to champion his cause,
whereupon Frank threw himself on the mercy of the Bishop of Kaminick,
and publicly burnt the Talmud, declaring that he recognized only the
Zohar, which, he alleged, admitted the doctrine of the Trinity. Thus the
Zoharists "claimed that they regarded the Messiah-Deliverer as one of
the three divinities, but failed to state that by the Messiah they meant
Shabbethai Zebi."[475] The Bishop was apparently deceived by this
manoeuvre, and in 1759 the Zoharites declared themselves converted to
Christianity, and were baptized, including Frank himself, who took the
name of Joseph. "The insincerity of the Frankists soon became apparent,
however, for they continued to inter-marry only among themselves and
held Frank in reverence, calling him 'The Holy Master.'"[476] It soon
became evident that, whilst openly embracing the Catholic faith, they
had in reality retained their secret Judaism.[477] Moreover, it was
discovered that Frank endeavoured to pass as a Mohammedan in Turkey; "he
was therefore arrested in Warsaw and delivered to the Church tribunal on
the charge of feigned conversion to Christianity and the spreading of a
pernicious heresy."[478] Unlike his predecessor in apostasy, Shabbethai
Zebi, Frank, however, came to no untimely end, but after his release
from prison continued to prey on the credulity of Christians and
frequently travelled to Vienna with his daughter, Eve, who succeeded in
duping the pious Maria Theresa. But here also "the sectarian plans of
Frank were found out,"[479] and he was obliged to leave Austria.
Finally he settled at Offenbach and supported by liberal subsidies from
the other Jews, he resumed his former splendour[480]

     with a retinue of several hundred beautiful Jewish youth of both
     sexes; carts containing treasure were reported to be perpetually
     brought in to him, chiefly from Poland--he went out daily in great
     state to perform his devotions in the open field--he rode in a
     chariot drawn by noble horses; ten or twelve Hulans in red or green
     uniform, glittering with gold, by his side, with pikes in their
     hands and crests on their caps, eagles, or stags, or the sun and
     moon.... His followers believed him immortal, but in 1791 he died;
     his burial was as splendid as his mode of living--800 persons
     followed him to the grave.[481]

Now, it is impossible to study the careers of these magicians in Poland
and Germany without being reminded of their counterparts in France. The
family likeness between the "Baron von Offenbach," the "Comte de
Saint-Germain" and the "Comte de Cagliostro" is at once apparent. All
claimed to perform miracles, all lived with extraordinary magnificence
on wealth derived from an unknown source, one was certainly a Jew, the
other two were believed to be Jews, and all were known to be Cabalists.
Moreover, all three spent many years in Germany, and it was whilst Frank
was living as Baron von Offenbach close to Frankfurt that Cagliostro was
received into the Order of the Stricte Observance in a subterranean
chamber a few miles from that city. Earlier in his career he was known
to have visited Poland, whence Frank derived. Are we to believe that all
these men, so strangely alike in their careers, living at the same time
and in the same places, were totally unconnected? It is a mere
coincidence that this group of Jewish Cabalist miracle-workers should
have existed in Germany and Poland at the precise moment that the
Cabalist magicians sprang up in France? Is it again a coincidence that
Martines Pasqually founded his "Kabbalistic sect" of Illumines in 1754
and Jacob Frank his sect of Zoharites (or Illuminated) in 1755?

Moreover, when we know from purely Jewish sources that the Ba'al Shem
Heilprin had many pupils "who formed a band of charlatans who
shamelessly exploited the credulity of their contemporaries," that the
Ba'al Shem Tob and Jacob Frank both had large followings, it is surely
here that we may find the origin of those mysterious magicians who
spread themselves over Europe at this date.

It will at once be asked: "But what proof is there that any one of these
Ba'al Shems or Cabalists was connected with masonic or secret
societies?" The answer is that the most important Ba'al Shem of the day,
known as "the Chief of all the Jews," is shown by documentary evidence
to have been an initiate of Freemasonry and in direct contact with the
leaders of the secret societies. If then it is agreed that neither
Saint-Germain nor Cagliostro can be proved to have been Jews, here we
have a man concerned in the movement, more important than either, whose
nationality admits of no doubt whatever.

This extraordinary personage, known as the "Ba'al Shem of London," was a
Cabalistic Jew named Hayyim Samuel Jacob Falk, also called Dr. Falk,
Falc, de Falk, or Falkon, born in 1708, probably in Podolia. The further
fact that he was regarded by his fellow-Jews as an adherent of the
Messiah Shabbethai Zebi clearly shows his connexion with the Podolian
Zoharites. Falk was thus not an isolated phenomenon, but a member of one
of the groups described in the foregoing pages. The following is a
summary of the account given of the Ba'al Shem of London in the _Jewish

     Falk claimed to possess thaumaturgic powers and to be able to
     discover hidden treasure. Archenholz (_England und Italien_, I.
     249) recounts certain marvels which he had seen performed by Falk
     in Brunswick and which he attributes to a special knowledge of
     chemistry. In Westphalia at one time Falk was sentenced to be
     burned as a sorcerer, but escaped to England. Here he was received
     with hospitality and rapidly gained fame as a Cabalist and worker
     of miracles. Many stories of his powers were current. He would
     cause a small taper to remain alight for weeks; an incantation
     would fill his cellar with coal; plate left with a pawnbroker would
     glide back into his house. When a fire threatened to destroy the
     Great Synagogue, he averted the disaster by writing four Hebrew
     letters on the pillars of the door.[482] [Obviously the

On his arrival in London in 1742 Falk appeared to be without means, but
soon after he was seen to be in possession of considerable wealth,
living in a comfortable house in Wellclose Square, where he had his
private synagogue, whilst gold and silver plate adorned his table. His
Journal, still preserved in the library of the United Synagogue,
contains references to "mysterious journeyings" to and from Epping
Forest, to meetings, a meeting-chamber in the forest, and chests of gold
there buried. It was said that on one occasion when he was driving
thither along Whitechapel Road, a back wheel of his carriage came off,
which alarmed the coachman, but Falk ordered him to drive on and the
wheel followed the carriage all the way to the forest.

The stories of Falk's miraculous powers are too numerous to relate here,
but a letter written by an enthusiastic Jewish admirer, Sussman
Shesnowzi, to his son in Poland will serve to show the reputation he

     Hear, my beloved son, of the marvellous gifts entrusted to a son of
     man, who verily is not a man, a light of the captivity ... a holy
     light, a saintly man ... who dwells at present in the great city of
     London. Albeit I could not fully understand him on account of his
     volubility and his speaking as an inhabitant of Jerusalem.... His
     chamber is lighted by silver candlesticks on the walls, with a
     central eight-branched lamp made of pure silver of beaten work. And
     albeit it contained oil to burn a day and a night it remained
     enkindled for three weeks. On one occasion he abode in seclusion in
     his house for six weeks without meat and drink. When at the
     conclusion of this period ten persons were summoned to enter, they
     found him seated on a sort of throne, his head covered with a
     golden turban, a golden chain round his neck with a pendant silver
     star on which sacred names were inscribed. Verily this man stands
     alone in his generation by reason of his knowledge of holy
     mysteries. I cannot recount to you all the wonders he accomplishes.
     I am grateful, in that I am found worthy to be received among those
     who dwell within the shadow of his wisdom.... I know that many will
     believe my words, but others, who do not occupy themselves with
     mysteries, will laugh thereat. Therefore, my son, be very
     circumspect, and show this only to wise and discreet men. For here
     in London this master has not been disclosed to anyone who does not
     belong to our Brotherhood.

The esteem in which Falk was held by the Jewish community, including the
Chief Rabbi and the Rabbi of the new Synagogue, appears to have roused
the resentment of his co-religionist Emden, who denounced him as a
follower of the false Messiah and an exploiter of Christian credulity.

     Falk [he wrote in a letter to Poland] had made his position by his
     pretence to be an adept in practical Cabala, by which means he
     professed to be able to discover hidden treasures; by his
     pretensions he had entrapped a wealthy captain whose fortune he had
     cheated him out of, so that he was reduced to depending on the
     Rabbi's charity, and yet, despite this, wealthy Christians spend
     their money on him, whilst Falk spends his bounty on the men of his
     Brotherhood so that they may spread his fame.

In general Falk appears to have displayed extreme caution in his
relations with Christian seekers after occult knowledge, for the _Jewish
Encyclopaedia_ goes on to say: "Archenholz mentions a royal prince who
applied to Falk in his quest for the philosopher's stone, but was denied
admittance." Nevertheless Hayyum Azulai mentions (Ma'gal Tob, p. 13_b_):

     That when in Paris in 1778 he was told by the Marchesa de Crona
     that the Ba'al Shem of London had taught her the Cabala. Falk seems
     also to have been on intimate terms with that strange adventurer
     Baron Theodor de Neuhoff.... Falk's principal friends were the
     London bankers Aaron Goldsmid and his son.[483] Pawnbroking and
     successful speculation enabled him to acquire a considerable
     fortune. He left large sums of money to charity, and the overseers
     of the United Synagogue in London still distribute annually certain
     payments left by him for the poor.

Nothing of all this would lead one to suppose that Falk could be
regarded in the light of a black magician; it is therefore surprising to
find Dr. Adler observing that a horrible account of a Jewish Cabalist in
_The Gentleman's Magazine_ for September 1762 "obviously refers to Dr.
Falk, though his name is not mentioned."[484] This man is described as
"a christened Jew and the biggest rogue and villain in all the world,"
who "had been imprisoned everywhere and banished out of all countries in
Germany, and also sometimes publicly whipped, so that his back lost all
the old skin, and became new again, and yet left never off from his
villainies, but grew always worse." The writer goes on to relate that
the Cabalist offered to teach him certain mysteries, but explained that
before entering on any "experiments of the said godly mysteries, we
must first avoid all churches and places of worshipping as unclean"; he
then bound his initiate by a very strong oath and proceeded to tell him
that he must steal a Hebrew Bible from a Protestant and also procure
"one pound of blood out of the veins of an honest Protestant." The
initiate thereupon robbed a Protestant of all his effects, but had
himself bled of about three-quarters of a pound of blood, which he gave
to the magician. He thus describes the ceremony that took place:

     Then the next night about 11 o'clock, we both went into the garden
     of my own, and the cabalist put a cross, tainted with my blood, in
     each corner of the garden, and in the middle of the garden a
     threefold circle ... in the first circle were written all the names
     of God in Hebrew; in the second all the names of the angels; and in
     the third the first chapter of the holy Gospel of St. John, and it
     was all written with my blood.

The cruelties then performed by the Cabalist on a he-goat are too
loathsome to transcribe. The whole story, indeed, appears a farrago of
nonsense and would not be worth quoting but for the fact that it appears
to be taken seriously by Dr. Adler as a description of the great Ba'al

The death of Falk took place on April 17, 1782, and the epitaph on his
grave in the cemetery at Globe Road, Mile End, "bears witness to his
excellencies and orthodoxy": "Here is interred ... the aged and
honourable man, a great personage who came from the East, an
accomplished sage, an adept in Cabbalah.... His name was known to the
ends of the earth and distant isles," etc.

This then is surely the portrait of a most remarkable personage, a man
known for his powers in England, France, and Germany, visited by a royal
prince in search of the philosopher's stone, and acclaimed by one of his
own race as standing alone in his generation by reason of his knowledge,
yet whilst Saint-Germain and Cagliostro figure in every account of
eighteenth-century magicians, it is only in exclusively Judaic or
masonic works, not intended for the general public, that we shall find
any reference to Falk. Have we not here striking evidence of the truth
of M. Andre Baron's dictum: "Remember that the constant rule of the
secret societies is that the real authors never show themselves"?

It will now be asked: what proof is there that Falk is connected with
any masonic or secret societies? True, in the accounts given by the
_Jewish Encyclopaedia_, the word Freemasonry is not once mentioned. But
in the curious portrait of the great Ba'al Shem appended, we see him
holding in his hand the pair of compasses, and before him, on the table
at which he is seated, the double triangle or Seal of Solomon known
amongst Jews as "the Shield of David," which forms an important emblem
in Masonry.

Moreover, it is significant to find in the _Royal Masonic Encyclopaedia_
by the Rosicrucian Kenneth Mackenzie that a long and detailed article is
devoted to Falk, though again without any reference to his connexion
with Freemasonry. May we not conclude that in certain inner masonic
circles the importance of Falk is recognized but must not be revealed to
the uninitiated? Mr. Gordon Hills, in the above-quoted paper contributed
to the _Ars Quatuor Coronatorum_, indulges in some innocent speculation
as to the part Falk may have played in the masonic movement. "If," he
observes, "Jewish Brethren did introduce Cabalistical learning into the
so-called High Degrees, here we have one, who, if a Mason, would have
been eminently qualified to do so."

Falk inded was far more than a Mason, he was a high initiate--the
supreme oracle to which the secret societies applied for guidance. All
this was disclosed a few years ago in the correspondence between
Savalette de Langes and the Marquis de Chefdebien referred to in the
previous chapter. Thus in the _dossiers_ of the leading occultists
supplied by Savalette we find the following note on the Ba'al Shem of

     This Doctor Falk is known to many Germans. He is a very
     extraordinary man from every point of view. Some people believe him
     to be the Chief of all the Jews and attribute to purely political
     schemes all that is marvellous and singular in his life and
     conduct. He is referred to in a very curious manner, and as a
     Rose-Croix in the _Memoirs of the Chevalier de Rampsow_ (i.e.
     Rentzov). He has had adventures with the Marechal de Richelieu,
     great seeker of the Philosophers' Stone. He had a strange history
     with the Prince de Rohan Guemenee and the Chevalier de Luxembourg
     relating to Louis XV, whose death he foretold. He is almost
     inaccessible. In all the sects of savants in secret sciences he
     passes as a superior man. He is at present in England. The Baron de
     Gleichen can give good information about him. Try to get more at

Again, in notes on other personages the name of Falk recurs with the
same insistence on his importance as a high initiate:

     Leman, pupil of Falk....

     The Baron de Gleichen ... intimately connected with Wecter
     [Waechter] and Wakenfeldt.... He knows Falk....

     The Baron de Waldenfels ... is, according to what I know from the
     Baron de Gleichen, the princes of Daimstadt, ... and others, the
     most interesting man for you and me to know. If we made his
     acquaintance, he could give us the best information on all the most
     interesting objects of instiuction. He knows Falk and Wecter.

Prince Louis d'Haimstadt ... is also a member of the Amis Reunis, 12 deg.
and in charge of the Directories. He worked in his youth with a Jew whom
he believes to be taught by Falk....[486]

Here, then, behind the organization of the Stricte Observance, of the
Amis Reunis, and the Philalethes, we catch a glimpse at last of one of
those _real initiates_ whose identity has been so carefully kept dark.
For Falk, as we see in these notes, was not an isolated sage; he had
pupils, and to be one of these was to be admitted to the inner
mysteries. Was Cagliostro one of these adepts? Is it here we may seek
the explanation of the "Egyptian Rite" devised by him in London, and of
his chance discovery on a bookstall in that city of a Cabalistic
document by the mysterious "George Cofton," whose identity has never
been revealed? I would suggest that the whole story of the bookstall was
a fable and that it was not from any manuscript, but from Falk, that
Cagliostro received his directions. Thus Cagliostro's rite was in
reality concealed Cabalism.

That Falk was only one of several Concealed Superiors is further
suggested by the intriguing correspondence of Savalette de Langes.
"Schroeder," we read, "had for his master an old man of Suabia," by whom
the Baron de Waechter was also said to have been instructed in Masonry,
and to have become one of the most important initiates of Germany.
Accordingly de Waechter was despatched by his Order to Florence in order
to make enquiries on further secrets and on certain famous treasures
about which Schroepfer, the Baron de Hundt, and others, had heard that
Aprosi, the secretary of the Pretender, could give them information.
Waechter, however, wrote to say that all they had been told on the
latter point was fabulous, but that he had met in Florence certain
"Brothers of the Holy Land," who had initiated him into marvellous
secrets; one in particular who is described as "a man who is not a
European" had "perfectly instructed him." Moreover, de Waechter, who had
set forth poor, returned loaded with riches attributed by his
fellow-masons to the "Asiatic Brethren" he had frequented in Florence
who possessed the art of making gold.[487] I would suggest then that
these were the members of the "Italian Order" referred to by Mr.
Tuckett, which, like Schroepfer and de Hundt, he imagined to have been
connected with the Jacobites.

But all these secret sources of instruction are wrapped in mystery.
Whilst Saint-Germain and Cagliostro--who is referred to in this
correspondence in terms of light derision--emerge into the limelight,
the real initiates remain concealed in the background. Falk "is almost
inaccessible!" Yet one more almost forgotten document of the period may
throw some light on the important part he played behind the scenes in

It may be remembered that Archenholz had spoken of certain marvels he
had seen performed by Falk in Brunswick. Now, in 1770 the German poet
Gotthold Ephraim Lessing was made librarian to the Duke of Brunswick in
that city. The fame of Falk may then have reached his ears. At any rate
in 1771 Lessing, after having mocked at Freemasonry, was initiated in a
masonic lodge at Hamburg, and in 1778 he published not only his famous
masonic drama _Nathan der Weise_, in which the Jew of Jerusalem is shown
in admirable contrast to the Christians and Mohammedans, but he also
wrote five dialogues on Freemasonry which he dedicated to the Duke of
Brunswick, Grand Master of all the German Lodges, and which he entitled
"_Ernst und Falk: Gesprache fur Freimaurer_."[488]

Lessing's friendship with Moses Mendelssohn has led to the popular
theory, unsupported however by any real evidence, that the Jewish
philosopher of Berlin provided the inspiration for the character of
Nathan, but might it not equally have been provided by the
miracle-worker of Brunswick? However, in the case of the dialogues less
room is left for doubt. Falk is mentioned by name and represented as
initiated into the highest mysteries of Freemasonry. This is of course
not explained by Lessing's commentators, who give no clue to his
identity.[489] It is evident that Lessing committed an enormous blunder
in thus letting so important a cat out of the bag, for after the
publication of the first three dialogues and whilst the last two were
circulating privately in manuscript amongst the Freemasons, an order
from the Duke of Brunswick forbade their publication as dangerous. In
spite of this prohibition, the rest of the series was printed, however
without Lessing's permission, in 1870 with a preface by an unknown
person describing himself as a non-mason.

The dialogues between Ernst and Falk throw a curious light on the
influences at work behind Freemasonry at this period and gain immensely
in interest when the identity of the two men in question is understood.
Thus Ernst, by whom Lessing evidently represents himself, is at the
beginning not a Freemason, and, whilst sitting with Falk in a wood,
questions the high initiate on the aims of the Order. Falk explains that
Freemasonry has always existed, but not under this name. Its real
purpose has never been revealed. On the surface it appears to be a
purely philanthropic association, but in reality philanthropy forms no
part of its scheme, its object being to bring about a state of things
which will render philanthropy unnecessary. (_Was man gemeinlich gute
Thaten zu nennen pflegt entbehrlich zu machen_.) As an illustration Falk
points to an ant-heap at the foot of the tree beneath which the two men
are seated. "Why," he asks, "should not human beings exist without
government like the ants or bees?" Falk then goes on to describe his
idea of a Universal State, or rather a federation of States, in which
men will no longer be divided by national, social, or religious
prejudices, and where greater equality will exist.

At the end of the third dialogue an interval occurs during which Ernst
goes away and becomes a Freemason, but on his return expresses his
disappointment to Falk at finding many Freemasons engaged in such
futilities as alchemy or the evocation of spirits. Others again seek to
revive the * * *. Falk replies that although the great secrets of
Freemasonry cannot be revealed by any man even if he wished it, one
thing, however, has been kept dark which should now be made public, and
this is the relationship between the Freemasons and the * * *.  "The
* * * were in fact the Freemasons of their time." It seems probable from
the context and from Falk's references to Sir Christopher Wren as the
founder of the modern Order, that the asterisks denote the Rosicrucians.

The most interesting point of these dialogues is, however, the hint
continually thrown out by Falk that there is something behind
Freemasonry, something far older and far wider in its aims than the
Order now known by this name--the modern Freemasons are for the most
part only "playing at it." Thus, when Ernst complains that true
equality has not been attained in the lodges since Jews are not
admitted, Falk observes that he himself does not attend them, that true
Freemasonry does not exist in outward forms--"A lodge bears the same
relation to Freemasonry as a church to belief." In other words, the real
initiates do not appear upon the scene. Here then we see the role of the
"Concealed Superiors." What wonder that Lessing's dialogues were
considered too dangerous for publication!

Moreover, in Falk's conception of the ideal social order and his
indictment of what he calls "bourgeois society" we find the clue to
movements of immense importance. Has not the system of the ant-heap or
the beehive proved, as I have pointed out elsewhere, the model on which
modern Anarchists, from Proudhon onwards, have formed their schemes for
the reorganization of human life? Has not the idea of the "World
State," "The Universal Republic" become the war-cry of the
Internationalist Socialists, the Grand Orient Masons, the Theosophists,
and the world-revolutionaries of our own day?

Was Falk, then, a revolutionary? This again will be disputed. Falk may
have been a Cabalist, a Freemason, a high initiate, but what proof is
there that he had any connexion with the leaders of the French
Revolution? Let us turn again to the _Jewish Encyclopaedia_:

     Falk ... is ... believed to have given the Duc d'Orleans, to ensure
     his succession to the throne, a talisman consisting of a ring,
     which Philippe Egalite before mounting the scaffold is said to have
     sent to a Jewess, Juliet Goudchaux, who passed it on to his son,
     subsequently Louis Philippe.

The Baron de Gleichen, who "knew Falc," refers to a talisman of
lapis-lazuli which the Due d'Orleans had received in England from "the
celebrated Falk Scheck, first Rabbi of the Jews," and says that a
certain occultist, Madame de la Croix, imagined she had destroyed it by
"the power of prayer." But the theory of its survival is further
confirmed by the information supplied from Jewish sources to Mr. Gordon
Hills, who states that Falk was "in touch with the French Court in the
person of 'Prince Emanuel,'[490] whom he describes as a servant of the
King of France," and adds that the talismanic ring which he gave to the
Due d'Orleans "is still in the possession of the family, having passed
to King Louis Philippe and thence to the Comte de Paris."[491]

One fact, then, looms out of the darkness that envelops the secret power
behind the Orleanist conspiracy, one fact of supreme importance, and
based moreover on purely Jewish evidence: the Duke was in touch with
Falk when in London and Falk supported his scheme of usurpation. Thus
behind the arch-conspirator of the revolution stood "the Chief of all
the Jews." Is it here perhaps, in Falk's "chests of gold," that we might
find the source of some of those loans raised in London by the Due
d'Orleans to finance the riots of the Revolution, so absurdly described
as "l'or de Pitt"?

The direct connexion between the attack on the French monarchy and
Jewish circles in London is further shown by the curious sequel to the
Gordon Riots. In 1780 the half-witted Lord George Gordon (as a Jewish
writer describes him), the head of the so-called "Protestant" mob,
marched on the House of Commons to protest against the bill for the
relief of Roman Catholic disabilities and then proceeded to carry out
his plan of burning down London. During the five days' rioting that
ensued, property to the amount of L180,000 was destroyed. After this
"the scion of the ducal house of Gordon proved the durability of his
love for Protestantism by professing the Hebrew faith," and was received
with the highest honours into the Synagogue. The same Jewish writer, who
has described him earlier as half-witted, quotes this panegyric on his
orthodoxy: "He was very regular in his Jewish observances; every morning
he was seen with the philacteries between his eyes, and opposite his
heart.... His Saturday's bread was baked according to the manner of the
Jews, his wine was Jewish, his meat was Jewish, and he was the best Jew
in the congregation of Israel." And it was immediately after his
conversion to Judaism that he published in _The Public Advertiser_ the
libel against Marie Antoinette which brought about his imprisonment in

Now we know that Lord George Gordon met Cagliostro in London in
1786.[493] Is it not probable that the author of the scurrilous pamphlet
and the magician concerned in the attack on the Queen's honour through
the Affair of the Necklace--one a--Jew by profession, the other said to
be a Jew by race--may have had some connexion with Philippe Egalite's
Jewish supporter, the miracle worker of Wellclose Square?

But already a vaster genius than Falk or Cagliostro, than Pasqually or
Savalette de Langes, had arisen, who, gathering into his hands the
threads of all the conspiracies, was able to weave them together into a
gigantic scheme for the destruction of France and of the world.


The Bavarian Illuminati

The question of the system to which I shall henceforth refer simply as
Illuminism is of such immense importance to an understanding of the
modern revolutionary movement that, although I have already described it
in detail in _World Revolution_, it is necessary to devote a further
chapter to it here in order to answer the objections made against my
former account of the Order and also to show its connexion with earlier
secret societies.

Now, the main contentions of those writers who, either consciously or
unconsciously, attempt to mislead the public on the true nature and real
existence of Illuminism are:

Firstly, that the case against Illuminism rests solely on the works of
Robison, and of Barruel and later Catholic authorities.

Secondly, that all these writers misinterpreted or misquoted the
Illuminati, who should be judged only by their own works.

Thirdly, that in reality the Illuminati were perfectly innocuous and
even praiseworthy.

Fourthly, that they are of no importance, since they ceased to exist in

In the present chapter I propose therefore to answer all these
contentions in turn and at the same time to make further examination
into the origins of the Order.

Origins of the Illuminati

That Weishaupt was not the originator of the system he named Illuminism
will be already apparent to every reader of the present work; it has
needed, in fact, all the foregoing chapters to trace the source of
Weishaupt's doctrines throughout the history of the world. From these it
will be evident that men aiming at the overthrow of the existing social
order and of all accepted religion had existed from the earliest times,
and that in the Cainites, the Carpocratians, the Manichaens, the
Batinis, the Fatimites, and the Karmathites many of Weishaupt's ideas
had already been foreshadowed. To the Manichaeans, in fact, the word
"Illuminati" may be traced--"gloriantur Manichaei se de caelo

It is in the sect of Abdullah ibn Maymun that we must seek the model
for Weishaupt's system of organization. Thus de Sacy has described in
the following words the manner of enlisting proselytes by the Ismailis:

     They proceeded to the admission and initiation of new proselytes
     only by degrees and with great reserve; for, as the sect had at the
     same time a political object and ambitions, its interest was above
     all to have a great number of partisans in all places and in all
     classes of society. It was necessary therefore to suit themselves
     to the character, the temperament, and the prejudices of the
     greater number; what one revealed to some would have revolted
     others and alienated for ever spirits less bold and consciences
     more easily alarmed.[495]

This passage exactly describes the methods laid down by Weishaupt for
his "Insinuating Brothers"--the necessity of proceeding with caution in
the enlisting of adepts, of not revealing to the novice doctrines that
might be likely to revolt him, of "speaking sometimes in one way,
sometimes in another, so that one's real purpose should remain
impenetrable" to members of the inferior grades.

How did these Oriental methods penetrate to the Bavarian professor?
According to certain writers, through the Jesuits. The fact that
Weishaupt had been brought up by this Order has provided the enemies of
the Jesuits with the argument that they were the secret inspirers of the
Illuminati. Mr. Gould, indeed, has attributed most of the errors of the
latter to this source; Weishaupt, he writes, incurred "the implacable
enmity of the Jesuits, to whose intrigues he was incessantly exposed."[496]
In reality precisely the opposite was the case, for, as we shall
see, it was Weishaupt who perpetually intrigued against the Jesuits.
That Weishaupt did, however, draw to a certain extent on Jesuit methods
of training is recognized even by Barruel, himself a Jesuit, who,
quoting Mirabeau, says that Weishaupt "admired above all those laws,
that _regime_ of the Jesuits, which, under one head, made men dispersed
over the universe tend towards the same goal; he felt that one could
imitate their methods whilst holding views diametrically opposed."[497]
And again, on the evidence of Mirabeau, de Luchet, and von Knigge,
Barruel says elsewhere: "It is here that Weishaupt appears specially to
have wished to assimilate the regime of the sect to that of the
religious orders and, above all, that of the Jesuits, by the total
abandonment of their own will and judgement which he demands of his
adepts ..." But Barruel goes on to show "the enormous difference that is
to be found between religious obedience and Illuminist obedience." In
every religious order men know that the voice of their conscience and of
their God is even more to be obeyed than that of their superiors.

     There is not a single one who, in the event that his superiors
     should order him to do things contrary to the duties of a Christian
     or of a good man, would not see an exception to be made to the
     obedience which he has sworn. This exception is often expressed and
     always clearly announced in all religious institutions; it is above
     all formal and positively repeated many times in that of the
     Jesuits. They are ordered to obey their superiors, but it is in the
     event that they see no sin in obeying, _ubi non cerneretur peccatum
     (Constitution des Jesuites_, part 3, chapter I, parag. 2, vol. i.,
     edition de Prague).[498]

Indeed, implicit obedience and the total surrender of one's own will and
judgement forms the foundation of all military discipline; "theirs not
to reason why, theirs not to make reply" is everywhere recognized as the
duty of soldiers. The Jesuits being in a sense a military Order,
acknowledging a General at their head, are bound by the same obligation.
Weishaupt's system was something totally different. For whilst all
soldiers and all Jesuits, when obeying their superiors, are well aware
of the goal towards which they are tending, Weishaupt's followers were
enlisted by the most subtle methods of deception and led on towards a
goal entirely unknown to them. It is this that, as we shall see later,
constitutes the whole difference between honest and dishonest secret
societies. The fact is that the accusation of Jesuit intrigue behind
secret societies has emanated principally from the secret societies
themselves and would appear to have been a device adopted by them to
cover their own tracks. No good evidence has ever been brought forward
in support of their contention. The Jesuits, unlike the Templars and
the Illuminati, were simply suppressed in 1773 without the formality of
a trial, and were therefore never given the opportunity to answer the
charges brought against them, nor, as in the case of these other Orders,
were their secret statutes--if any such existed--brought to light. The
only document ever produced in proof of these accusations was the
"Monita Secreta," long since shown to be a forgery. At any rate, the
correspondence of the Illuminati provides their best exoneration. The
Marquis de Luchet, who was no friend of the Jesuits, shows the absurdity
of confounding their aims with those of either the Freemasons or the
Illuminati, and describes all three as animated by wholly different

In all these questions it is necessary to seek a motive. I have no
personal interest in defending the Jesuits, but I ask: what motive could
the Jesuits have in forming or supporting a conspiracy directed against
all thrones and altars? It has been answered me that the Jesuits at this
period cared nothing for thrones and altars, but only for temporal
power; yet--even accepting this unwarrantable hypothesis--how was this
power to be exercised except through thrones and altars? Was it not
through princes and the Church that the Jesuits had been able to bring
their influence to bear on affairs of state? In an irreligious Republic,
as events afterwards proved, the power of the whole clergy was bound to
be destroyed. The truth is then, that, far from abetting the Illuminati,
the Jesuits were their most formidable opponents, the only body of men
sufficiently learned, astute, and well organized to outwit the schemes
of Weishaupt. In suppressing the Jesuits it is possible that the Old
Regime removed the only barrier capable of resisting the tide of

Weishaupt indeed, as we know, detested the Jesuits,[500] and took from
them only certain methods of discipline, of ensuring obedience or of
acquiring influence over the minds of his disciples; his aims were
entirely different.

Where, then, did Weishaupt find his immediate inspiration? It is here
that Barruel and Lecouteulx de Canteleu provide a clue not to be
discovered in other sources. In 1771, they relate, a certain Jutland
merchant named Kolmer, who had spent many years in Egypt, returned to
Europe in search of converts to a secret doctrine founded on Manichaeism
that he had learnt in the East. On his way to France he stopped at
Malta, where he met Cagliostro and nearly brought about an insurrection
amongst the people. Kolmer was therefore driven out of the island by the
Knights of Malta and betook himself to Avignon and Lyons. Here he made a
few disciples amongst the Illumines and in the same year went on to
Germany, where he encountered Weishaupt and initiated him into all the
mysteries of his secret doctrine. According to Barruel, Weishaupt then
spent five years thinking out his system, which he founded under the
name of Illuminati on May 1, 1776, and assumed the "illuminated" name of

Kolmer remains the most mysterious of all the mystery men of his day; at
first sight one is inclined to wonder whether he may not have been
another of the Cabalistic Jews acting as the secret inspirers of the
magicians who appeared in the limelight. The name Kolmer might easily
have been a corruption of the well-known Jewish name Calmer. Lecouteulx
de Canteleu, however, suggests that Kolmer was identical with Altolas,
described by Figuier as "this universal genius, almost divine, of whom
Cagliostro has spoken to us with so much respect and admiration. This
Altotas was not an imaginary personage. The Inquisition of Rome has
collected many proofs of his existence without having been able to
discover when it began or ended, for Altotas disappears, or rather
vanishes like a meteor, which, according to the poetic fancy of
romancers, would authorize us in declaring him immortal."[501] It is
curious to notice that modern occultists, whilst attributing so much
importance to Saint-Germain and the legend of his immortality, make no
mention of Altotas, who appears to have been a great deal more
remarkable. But, again, we must remember: "It is the unvarying rule of
secret societies that the real authors never show themselves." If, then,
Kolmer was the same person as Altotas, he would appear not to have been
a Jew or a Cabalist, but an initiate of some Near Eastern secret
society--possibly an Ismaili. Lecouteulx de Canteleu describes Altotas
as an Armenian, and says that his system was derived from those of
Egypt, Syria, and Persia. This would accord with Barruel's statement
that Kolmer came from Egypt, and that his ideas were founded on

It would be necessary to set these statements aside as only the
theories of Barruel or Lecouteulx, were it not that the writings of the
Illuminati betray the influence of some sect akin to Manichaeism. Thus
"Spartacus" writes to "Cato" that he is thinking of "warming up the old
system of the Ghebers and Parsees,"[502] and it will be remembered that
the Ghebers were one of the sects in which Dozy relates that Abdullah
ibn Maymun found his true supporters. Later Weishaupt goes on to
explain that--

     The allegory in which the Mysteries and Higher Grades must be
     clothed is Fire Worship and the whole philosophy of Zoroaster or of
     the old Parsees who nowadays only remain in India; therefore in the
     further degrees the Order is called "Fire Worship" (Feuer-dienst),
     the "Fire Order," or the "Persian Order"--that is, something
     magnificent beyond all expectation.[503]

At the same time the Persian calendar was adopted by the

It is evident that this pretence of Zoroastrianism was as pure humbug as
Weishaupt's later pretence of Christianity; of the true doctrines of
Zoroaster he shows no conception--nor does he insist further on the
point; but the above passage would certainly lend colour to the theory
that his system was partly founded on Manichaeism, that is to say, on
perverted Zoroastrianism, imparted to him by a man from the East, and
that the methods of the Batinis and Fatimites may have been communicated
to him through the same channel. Hence the extraordinary resemblance
between his plan of organization and that of Abdullah ibn Maymun,
which consisted in political intriguing rather than in esoteric
speculation. Thus in Weishaupt's system the phraseology of Judaism, the
Cabalistic legends of Freemasonry, the mystical imaginings of the
Martinistes, play at first no part at all. For all forms of "theosophy,"
occultism, spiritualism, and magic Weishaupt expresses nothing but
contempt, and the Rose-Croix masons are bracketed with the Jesuits by
the Illuminati as enemies it is necessary to outwit at every turn.[505]
Consequently no degree of Rose-Croix finds a place in Weishaupt's
system, as in all the other masonic orders of the day which drew their
influence from Eastern or Cabalistic sources.

It is true that "Mysteries" play a great part in the phraseology of the
Order--"Greater and Lesser Mysteries," borrowed from ancient
Egypt--whilst the higher initiates are decorated with such titles as
"Epopte" and "Hierophant," taken from the Eleusinian Mysteries. Yet
Weishaupt's own theories appear to bear no relation whatever to these
ancient cults. On the contrary, the more we penetrate into his system,
the more apparent it becomes that all the formulas he employs which
derive from any religious source--whether Persian, Egyptian, or
Christian--merely serve to disguise a purely material purpose, a plan
for destroying the existing order of society. Thus all that was really
ancient in Illuminism was the destructive spirit that animated it and
also the method of organization it had imported from the East.
Illuminism therefore marks an entirely new departure in the history of
European secret societies. Weishaupt himself indicates this as one of
the great secrets of the Order. "Above all," he writes to "Cato" (alias
Zwack), "guard the origin and the novelty of (*) in the most careful
way."[506] "The greatest mystery," he says again, "must be that the
thing is new; the fewer who know this the better.... Not one of the
Eichstadters knows this but would live or die for it that the thing is
as old as Methuselah."[507]

This pretence of having discovered some fund of ancient wisdom is the
invariable ruse of secret society adepts; the one thing never admitted
is the identity of the individuals from whom one is receiving direction.
Weishaupt himself declares that he has got it all out of books by means
of arduous and unremitting labour. "What it costs me to read, study,
think, write, cross out, and re-write!" he complains to Marius and
Cato.[508] Thus, according to Weishaupt the whole system is the work of
his own unaided genius, and the supreme direction remains in his hands
alone. Again and again he insists on this point in his correspondence.

If this were indeed the case, Weishaupt--in view of the efficiency
achieved by the Order--must have been a genius of the first water, and
it is difficult to understand why so remarkable a man should not have
distinguished himself on other lines, but have remained almost unknown
to posterity. It would therefore appear possible that Weishaupt,
although undoubtedly a man of immense organizing capacity and endowed
with extraofdinary subtlety, was not in reality the sole author of
Illuminism, but one of a group, which, recognizing his talents and the
value of his untiring activity, placed the direction in his hands. Let
us examine this hypothesis in the light of a document which was unknown
to me when I wrote my former account of the Illuminati.

Barruel has pointed out that the great error of Robison was to describe
Illuminism as arising out of Freemasonry, since Weishaupt did not become
a Freemason until after he had founded his Order. It is true that
Weishaupt was not officially received into Freemasonry until 1777, when
he was initiated into the first degree at the Lodge "Theodore de Bon
Conseil," at Munich. From this time we find him continually occupied in
trying to discover more about the secrets of Freemasonry, whilst himself
claiming superior knowledge.

But at the same time it is by no means certain that an inner circle of
the Lodge Theodore may not have been first in the field and Weishaupt
all the while an unconscious agent. A very curious light is thrown on
this question by the _Memoires_ of Mirabeau.

Now, in _The French Revolution_ and again in _World Revolution_ I quoted
the generally received opinion that Mirabeau, who was already a
Freemason, was received into the Order of the Illuminati during his
visit to Berlin in 1786. To this Mr. Waite replied: "All that is said
about Mirabeau, his visit to Berlin, and his plot to 'illuminize' French
Freemasonry, may be disposed of in one sentence: there is no evidence to
show that Mirabeau ever became a Mason. The province of Barruel was to
colour everything...."[509] Mr. Waite's statement may also be disposed
of in one sentence: it is a pure invention. The province of Mr. Waite is
to deny everything inconvenient to him. The evidence that Mirabeau was a
Freemason does not rest on Barruel alone. M. Barthou, in his Life of
Mirabeau, refers to it as a matter of common knowledge, and relates that
a paper was found at Mirabeau's house describing a new Order to be
grafted on Freemasonry. This document will be found in its entirety in
the _Memoires_ of Mirabeau, where it is stated that:

     Mirabeau had early entered an association of Freemasonry. This
     affiliation had accredited him to a Dutch lodge, and it seems that,
     either spontaneously or in response to a request, he thought of
     proposing an organization of which we possess the plan, written not
     by his hand.... but by the hand of a copyist whom Mirabeau had
     attached to himself.... This work appears to have been that of
     Mirabeau; all his opinions, his principles, and his style will be
     found here.[510]

The same work goes on to print the document in full, which is headed:
"Memoir concerning an intimate association to be established in the
Order of Freemasonry so as to bring it back to its true principles and
to make it really tend to the good of humanity, drawn up by the F.
Mi----, at present named Arcesilas, in 1776."

As this Memoir is too long to reproduce in full here, M. Barthou's
_resume_ will serve to give an idea of its contents[511]:

     He [Mirabeau] was a Freemason from his youth. There was found
     amongst his papers, written by the hand of a copyist, an
     international organization of Freemasonry, which no doubt he
     dictated in Amsterdam. This project contains on the solidarity of
     men, on the benefits of instruction, and on the "correction of the
     system of governments and of legislations" views very superior to
     those of "The Essay on Despotism" (1772). The mind of Mirabeau had
     ripened. The duties he traces out for the "brothers of the higher
     grade" constitute even a whole plan of reforms which resemble very
     much in certain parts the work accomplished later by the
     Constituent [Assembly]: suppression of servitudes on the land and
     the rights of main morte, abolition of the corvees, of working
     guilds and of maitrises [freedom of companies], of customs and
     excise duties, the diminution of taxation, liberty of religious
     opinions and of the press, the disappearance of special
     jurisdiction. In order to organize, to develop and arrive at his
     end, Mirabeau invokes the example of the Jesuits: "We have quite
     contrary views," he says, "that of enlightening men, of making them
     free and happy, but we must and we can do this by the same means,
     and who should prevent us doing for good what the Jesuits have done
     for evil?"[512]

Now in this Memoir Mirabeau makes no mention of Weishaupt, but in his
_Histoire de la Monarchic Prussienne_ he gives a eulogistic account of
the Bavarian Illuminati, referring to Weishaupt by name, and showing the
Order to have arisen out of Freemasonry. It will be seen that this
account corresponds point by point with the Memoir he had himself made
out in 1776, that is to say, in the very year that Illuminism was

     The Lodge Theodore de Bon Conseil at Munich, where there were a few
     men with brains and hearts, was tired of being tossed about by the
     vain promises and quarrels of Masonry. The heads resolved to graft
     on to their branch another secret association to which they gave
     the name of the Order of the Illumines. They modelled it on the
     Society of Jesus, whilst proposing to themselves views
     diametrically opposed.

Mirabeau then goes on to say that the great object of the Order was the
amelioration of the present system of government and legislation, that
one of its fundamental rules was to admit "no prince whatever his
virtues,"[513] that it proposed to abolish--

     The slavery of the peasants, the servitude of men to the soil, the
     rights of main morte and all the customs and privileges which abase
     humanity, the corvees under the condition of an equitable
     equivalent, all the corporations, all the maitrises, all the
     burdens imposed on industry and commerce by customs, excise duties,
     and taxes ... to procure a universal toleration for all religious
     opinions ... to take away all the arms of superstition, to favour
     the liberty of the press, etc.[514]

From all this we see then that Mirabeau did not become an Illuminatus in
1786 as I had supposed before this document was known to me, but had
been in the Order from the beginning apparently as one of its founders,
first under the "Illuminated" name of Arcesilas and later under that of
Leonidas. The Memoir found at his house was thus no other than the
programme of the Illuminati evolved by him in collaboration with an
inner ring of Freemasons belonging to the Lodge Theodore. The
correspondence of the Illuminati in fact contains several references to
an inner ring under the name of "the secret chapter of the Lodge of St.
Theodore," which, after his initiation into Masonry, Weishaupt indicates
the necessity of bringing entirely under the control of Illuminism. It
is probable that Weishaupt was in touch with this secret chapter before
his formal admission to the lodge.

Whether, then, the ideas of Illuminism arose in this secret, chapter of
the Lodge Theodore independently of Weishaupt, or whether they were
imparted by Weishaupt to the Lodge Theodore after the directions had
been given him by Kolmer, it is impossible to know; but in either case
there would be some justification for Robison's assertion that
Illuminism arose out of Freemasonry, or rather that it took birth
amongst a group of Freemasons whose aims were not those of the Order in

What were these aims? A plan of social and political "reform" which, as
M. Barthou points out, much resembled the work accomplished later by the
Constituent Assembly in France. This admission is of great importance;
in other words, the programme carried out by the Constituent Assembly in
1789 had been largely formulated in a lodge of German Freemasons who
formed the nucleus of the Illuminati, in 1776. And yet we are told that
Illuminism had no influence on the French Revolution!

It will be objected that the reforms here indicated were wholly
admirable. True, the abolition of the _corvee_, of _main morte_, and of
servitudes were measures that met with the approval of all right-minded
men, including the King of France himself. But what of the abolition of
the "working guilds" and "all the corporations," that is to say, the
"trade unions" of the period, which was carried out by the infamous Loi
Chapelier in 1791, a decree that is now generally recognized as one of
the strangest anomalies of the Revolution? Again, to whose interest was
it to do away with the customs and excise duties of France? To establish
the absolute and unfettered liberty of the press and religious opinions?
The benefits these measures might be expected to confer on the French
people were certainly problematical, but there could be no doubt of
their utility to men who, like Frederick the Great, wished to ruin
France and to break the Franco-Austrian alliance by the unrestricted
circulation of libels against Marie Antoinette, who, like Mirabeau,
hoped to bring about a revolution, or who, like Voltaire, wished to
remove all obstacles to the spread of an anti-Christian propaganda.

It is therefore by no means impossible that Weishaupt was at first the
agent of more experienced conspirators, whose purely political aims were
disguised under a plan of social reform, and who saw in the Bavarian
professor a clever organizer to be employed in carrying out their

Whether this was so or not, the fact remains that from the time
Weishaupt assumed control of the Order the plan of "social reform"
described by Mirabeau vanishes entirely, for not a word do we find in
the writings of the Illuminati about any pretended scheme for
ameliorating the lot of the people, and Illuminism becomes simply a
scheme of anarchic philosophy. The French historian Henri Martin has
thus admirably summed up the system elaborated by "Spartacus":

     Weishaupt had made into an absolute theory the misanthropic gibes
     _[boutades]_ of Rousseau at the invention of property and society,
     and without taking into account the statement so distinctly
     formulated by Rousseau on the impossibility of suppressing property
     and society once they had been established, he proposed as the end
     of Illuminism the abolition of property, social authority, of
     nationality, and the return of the human race to the happy state in
     which it formed only a single family without artificial needs,
     without useless sciences, every father being priest and magistrate.
     Priest of we know not what religion, for in spite of their frequent
     invocations of the God of Nature, many indications lead us to
     conclude that Weishaupt had, like Diderot and d'Holbach, no other
     God than Nature herself. From his doctrine would naturally follow
     the German ultra-Hegelianism and the system of anarchy recently
     developed in France, of which the physiognomy suggests a foreign

This summary of the aims of the Illuminati, which absolutely
corroborates the view of Barruel and Robison, is confirmed in detail by
the Socialist Freethinker of the nineteenth century Louis Blanc, who in
his remarkable chapter on the "Revolutionnaires Mystiques" refers to
Weishaupt as "One of the profoundest conspirators who have ever
existed."[516] George Sand also, Socialist and _intime_ of the
Freemasons, wrote of "the European conspiracy of Illuminism" and the
immense influence exercised by the secret societies of "mystic Germany."
To say, then, that Barruel and Robison were alone in proclaiming the
danger of Illuminism is simply a deliberate perversion of the truth, and
it is difficult to understand why English Freemasons should have allowed
themselves to be misled on this question.

Thus the _Masonic Cyclopaedia_ observes that the Illuminati "were, as a
rule, men of the strictest morality and humanity, and the ideas they
sought to instil were those which have found universal acceptance in our
own times." Preston, in his _Illustrations of Masonry_, also does his
best to gloss over the faults of the Order, and even "the historian of
Freemasonry" devotes to its founder this astounding apology. After
describing Weishaupt as the victim of Jesuit intrigue, Mr. Gould goes on
to say:

     He conceived the idea of combating his foes with their own
     weapons, and forming a society of young men, enthusiastic in the
     cause of humanity, who should gradually be trained to work as one
     man to one end--the destruction of evil and the enhancement of good
     in this world. Unfortunately he had unconsciously imbibed that most
     pernicious doctrine that the end justifies the means, and his whole
     plan reveals the effects of his youthful teaching.... The man
     himself was without guile, ignorant of men, knowing them only by
     books, a learned professor, an enthusiast who took a wrong course
     in all innocence, and the faults of his head have been heavily
     visited upon his memory in spite of the rare qualities of his

One can only conclude that these extraordinary exonerations of an Order
bitterly hostile to the true aims of Masonry proceed from ignorance of
the real nature of Illuminism. In order to judge of this it is only
necessary to consult the writings of the Illuminati themselves, which
are contained in the following works:

1. _Einige Originalschriften des Illuminatenordens_ (Munich, 1787).

2. _Nachtrag von weitern Originalschriften, etc._ (Munich, 1787).

3. _Die neuesten Arbeiten des Spartacus und Philo in dem
Illuminaten-Orden_ (Munich, 1794).

All these consist in the correspondence and papers of the Order which
were seized by the Bavarian Government at the houses of two of the
members, Zwack and Bassus, and published by order of the Elector. The
authenticity of these documents has never been denied even by the
Illuminati themselves; Weishaupt, in his published defence, endeavoured
only to explain away the most incriminating passages. The publishers,
moreover, were careful to state at the beginning of the first volume:
"Those who might have any doubts on the authenticity of this collection
may present themselves at the Secret Archives here, where, on request,
the original documents will be laid before them." This precaution
rendered all dispute impossible.

Setting Barruel and Robison entirely aside, we shall now see from the
evidence of their own writings, how far the Illuminati can be regarded
as a praiseworthy and cruelly maligned Order. Let us begin with their
attitude towards Freemasonry.

Illuminism and Freemasonry

From the moment of Weishaupt's admission into Freemasonry his whole
conduct was a violation of the Masonic code. Instead of proceeding after
the recognized manner by successive stages of initiation, he set himself
to find out further secrets by underhand methods and then to turn them
to the advantage of his own system. Thus about a year after his
initiation he writes to Cato (alias Zwack): "I have succeeded in
obtaining a profound glimpse into the secret of the Freemasons. I know
their whole aim and shall impart it all at the right time in one of the
higher degrees."[518]

Cato is then deputed to make further discoveries through an Italian
Freemason, the Abbe Marotti, which he records triumphantly in his diary:

     Interview with the Abbe Marotti on the question of Masonry, when he
     explained to me the whole secret, which is founded on old religion
     and Church history, and imparted to me all the higher degrees up to
     the Scottish. Informed Spartacus of this.[519]

Spartacus, however, unimpressed by this communication, replied drily:

     Whether you know the aim of Masonry I doubt. I have myself included
     an insight into this structure in my plan, but reserved it for
     later degrees.[520]

Weishaupt then decides that all illuminated "Areopagites" shall take the
first three degrees of Freemasonry[521]; but further:

     That we shall have a masonic lodge of our own. That we shall regard
     this as our nursery garden. That to some of these Masons we shall
     not at once reveal that we have something more than the Masons
     have. That at every opportunity we shall cover ourselves with this
     [Masonry].... All those who are not suited to the work shall remain
     in the masonic Lodge and advance in that without knowing anything
     of the further system.[522]

We shall find this plan of an inner secret circle concealed within
Freemasonry persisting up to our own day.

Weishaupt, however, admits himself puzzled with regard to the past of
Masonry, and urges "Porcius" to find out more on this question from the
Abbe Marotti:

     See whether through him you can discover the real history, origin,
     and the first founders of Masonry, for on this alone I am still

But it is in "Philo," the Baron von Knigge, a Freemason and member of
the Stride Observance, in which he was known as the Eques a Cygno, that
Weishaupt finds his most efficient investigator. Thus "Philo" writes to

     I have now found in Cassel the best man, on whom I cannot
     congratulate ourselves enough: he is Mauvillon, Grand Master of one
     of the Royal York Lodges. So with him we have the whole lodge in
     our hands. He has also got from there all their miserable degrees
     [_Er hat auch von dort aus alle ihre elenden Grade_].[524]

No wonder that Weishaupt thereupon exclaims joyfully: "Philo does more
than we all expected, and he is the man who alone will carry it all
through."[525] Weishaupt then occupies himself in trying to get a
"Constitution" from London, evidently without success, and also in
wresting the Lodge Theodore in Munich from the control of Berlin in
order to substitute his own domination, so that "the whole secret
chapter will be subjected to our (*), leave everything to it, and await
further degrees from it alone."[526]

In all this Weishaupt shows himself not only an intriguer but a
charlatan, inventing mysteries and degrees to impose on the credulity of
his followers. "The mysteries, or so-called secret truths, are the
finest of all," he writes to "Philipo Strozzi," "and give me much
trouble."[527] So whilst heartily despising Freemasonry, theosophy,
Rosicrucianism, and mysticism of every kind, his association with Philo
leads him to perceive the utility of all these as a bait, and he allows
Philo to draw up plans for a degree of Scottish Knight. But the result
is pitiable, Philo's composition, a "semi-theosophical discourse and
explanation of hieroglyphics" is characterized by Weishaupt as gibberish

     Philo [he says again] is full of such follies, which betray his
     small mind.... On the Illuminatus Major follows the miserable
     degree of Scottish Knight entirely of his composition, and on the
     degree of Priest an equally miserable degree of Regent, ... but I
     have already composed four more degrees compared to the worst of
     which the Priest's degree will be child's play, but I shall tell no
     one about it till I see how the thing goes....[529]

The perfidy of the Illuminati with regard to the Freemasons is therefore
apparent. Even Mounier, who set out to refute Barruel on the strength of
the information supplied to him by the Illuminatus Bode, admits their
duplicity in this respect.

     Weishaupt [says Mounier] made the acquaintance of a Hanoverian, the
     Baron von Knigge, a famous intriguer, long practised in the
     charlatanism of lodges of Freemasons. On his advice new degrees
     were added to the old ones, and it was resolved to profit by
     Freemasonry whilst profoundly despising it. They decided that the
     degrees of Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft, Master Mason, and
     Scotch Knight should be added to those of the Illuminati, and that
     they would boast of possessing exclusively the real secrets of the
     Freemasons and affirm that Illuminism was the real primitive

"The papers of the Order seized in Bavaria and published," Mounier says
again, show that "the Illuminati employed the forms of Freemasonry, but
that they considered it in itself, apart from their own degrees, as a
puerile absurdity and that they detested the Rose-Croix." Mounier, as a
good disciple of Bode, takes much the same view and pities the _naivete_
of the Freemasons, who, "like so many children, spend a great part of
the time in their lodges playing at chapel."

Why in the face of all this should any British Masons take up the
cudgels for the Illuminati and vilify Robison and Barruel for exposing
them? The American Mackey, as a consistent Freemason, shows scant
sympathy for this traitor in the masonic camp. "Weishaupt," he writes,
"was a radical in politics and an infidel in religion, and he organized
this association, not more for the purpose of aggrandizing himself, than
of overturning Christianity and the institutions of society." And in a
footnote he adds that Robison's _Proofs of a Conspiracy_ "contain a very
excellent exposition of the nature of this pseudo-masonic

The truth is that Weishaupt was one of the greatest enemies of British
Freemasonry who ever lived, and genuine Freemasons will do themselves no
good by defending him or his abominable system.

Let us now see how far, apart from their role in Masonry, the Illuminati
can be regarded as noble idealists striving for the welfare of the human

Idealism of the Illuminati

The line of defence adopted by the apologists of the Illuminati is
always to quote the admirable principles professed by the Order, the
"beautiful ideas" that run through their writings, and to show what
excellent people were to be found amongst them.

Of course on their face value the Illuminati appear wholly admirable, of
course there is nothing easier than to find innumerable passages in
their writings breathing a spirit of the loftiest aspiration, and of
course many excellent men figured amongst the patrons of the Order. All
this is the mere stock-in-trade of the secret society leader as of the
fraudulent company promoter, to whom the first essentials are a glowing
prospectus and a long list of highly respectable patrons who know
nothing whatever about the inner workings of the concern. These methods,
pursued as early as the ninth century by Abdullah ibn Maymun, enter
largely into the policy of Frederick the Great, Voltaire, and his
"brothers" in philosophy--or in Freemasonry.

The resemblances between Weishaupt's correspondence and that of Voltaire
and of Frederick the Great are certainly very striking. All at moments
profess respect for Christianity whilst working to destroy it. Thus just
as Voltaire in one letter to d'Alembert expresses his horror at the
publication of an anti-Christian pamphlet, _Le Testament de Jean
Meslier,[531]_ and in another urges him to have it circulated in
thousands all over France,[532] so Weishaupt is careful in general to
exhibit the face of a benign philosopher and even of a Christian
evangelist; it is only at moments that he drops the mask and reveals the
grinning satyr behind it.

Accordingly in the published statutes of the Illuminati no hint of
subversive intentions will be found; indeed the "Obligation" expressly
states that "nothing against the State, religion, or morals is

Yet what is Weishaupt's real political theory? No other than that of
modern Anarchy, that man should govern himself and rulers should be
gradually done away with. But he is careful to deprecate all ideas of
violent revolution--the process is to be accomplished by the most
peaceful methods. Let us see how gently he leads up to the final

     The first stage in the life of the whole human race is savagery,
     rough nature, in which the family is the only society, and hunger
     and thirst are easily satisfied, ... in which man enjoys the two
     most excellent goods, Equality and Liberty, to their fullest
     extent.... In these circumstances ... health was his usual
     condition.... Happy men, who were not yet enough enlightened to
     lose their peace of mind and to be conscious of the unhappy
     mainsprings and causes of our misery, love of power ... envy ...
     illnesses and all the results of imagination.

The manner in which man fell from this primitive state of felicity is
then described:

     As families increased, means of subsistence began to lack, the
     nomadic life ceased, property was instituted, men established
     themselves firmly, and through agriculture families drew near each
     other, thereby language developed and through living together men
     began to measure themselves against each other, etc.... But here
     was the cause of the downfall of freedom; equality vanished. Man
     felt new unknown needs....[533]

Thus men became dependent like minors under the guardianship of kings;
the human must attain its majority and become self-governing:

     Why should it be impossible that the human race should attain to
     its highest perfection, the capacity to guide itself? Why should
     anyone be eternally led who understands how to lead himself?[534]

Further, men must learn not only to be independent of kings but of each

     Who has need of another depends on him and has resigned his rights.
     So to need little is the first step to freedom; therefore savages
     and the most highly enlightened are perhaps the only free men. The
     art of more and more limiting one's needs is at the same time the
     art of attaining freedom....[535]

Weishaupt then goes on to show how the further evil of Patriotism arose:

     With the origin of nations and peoples the world ceased to be a
     great family, a single kingdom: the great tie of nature was
     torn.... Nationalism took the place of human love.... Now it became
     a virtue to magnify one's fatherland at the expense of whoever was
     not enclosed within its limits, now as a means to this narrow end
     it was allowed to despise and outwit foreigners or indeed even to
     insult them. This virtue was called Patriotism....[536]

And so by narrowing down affection to one's fellow-citizens, the members
of one's family, and even to oneself:

     There arose out of Patriotism, Localism, the family spirit, and
     finally Egoism.... Diminish Patriotism, then men will learn to know
     each other again as such, their dependence on each other will be
     lost, the bond of union will widen out....[537]

It will be seen that the whole of Weishaupt's theory was in reality a
new rendering of the ancient secret tradition relating to the fall of
man and the loss of his primitive felicity; but whilst the ancient
religions taught the hope of a Redeemer who should restore man to his
former state, Weishaupt looks to man alone for his restoration. "Men,"
he observes, "no longer loved men but only such and such men. The word
was quite lost...."[538] Thus in Weishaupt's masonic system the "lost
word" is "Man," and its recovery is interpreted by the idea that Man
should find himself again. Further on Weishaupt goes on to show how "the
redemption of the human race is to be brought about".

     These means are secret schools of wisdom, these were from all time
     the archives of Nature and of human rights, through them will Man
     be saved from his Fall, princes and nations will disappear without
     violence from the earth, the human race will become one family and
     the world the abode of reasonable men. Morality alone will bring
     about this change imperceptibly. Every father of a family will be,
     as formerly Abraham and the patriarchs, the priest and unfettered
     lord of his family, and Reason will be the only code of Man. This
     is one of our greatest secrets....[539]

But whilst completely eliminating any idea of divine power outside Man
and framing his system on purely political lines, Weishaupt is careful
not to shock the susceptibilities of his followers by any open
repudiation of Christian doctrines; on the contrary, he invokes Christ
at every turn and sometimes even in language so apparently earnest and
even beautiful that one is almost tempted to believe in his sincerity.
Thus he writes:

     This our great and unforgettable Master, Jesus of Nazareth,
     appeared at a time in the world when it was sunk in depravity....
     The first followers of His teaching are not wise men but simple,
     chosen from the lowest class of the people, so as to show that His
     teaching should be possible and comprehensible to all classes and
     conditions of men.... He carries out this teaching by means of the
     most blameless life in conformity with it, and seals and confirms
     this with His blood and death. These laws which He shows as the way
     to salvation are only two: love of God and love of one's neighbour;
     more He asks of no one.[540]

So far no Lutheran pastor could have expressed himself better. But one
must study Weishaupt's writings as a whole to apprehend the true measure
of his belief in Christ's teaching.

       *       *       *       *       *

Now, as we have already seen, his first idea was to make Fire Worship
the religion of Illuminism; the profession of Christianity therefore
appears to have been an after-thought. Evidently Weishaupt discovered,
as others have done, that Christianity lends itself more readily to
subversive ideas than any other religion. And in the passages which
follow we find him adopting the old ruse of representing Christ as a
Communist and as a secret-society adept. Thus he goes on to explain that
"if Jesus preaches contempt of riches, He wishes to teach us the
reasonable use of them and prepare for the community of goods introduced
by Him,"[541] and in which, Weishaupt adds later, He lived with His
disciples.[542] But this secret doctrine is only to be apprehended by

     No one ... has so cleverly concealed the high meaning of His
     teaching, and no one finally has so surely and easily directed men
     on to the path of freedom as our great master Jesus of Nazareth.
     This secret meaning and natural consequence of His teaching He hid
     completely, for Jesus had a secret doctrine, as we see in more than
     one place of the Scriptures.[543]

Weishaupt thus contrives to give a purely political interpretation to
Christ's teaching:

     The secret preserved through the Disciplinam Arcani, and the aim
     appearing through all His words and deeds, is to give back to men
     their original liberty and equality.... Now one can understand how
     far Jesus was the Redeemer and Saviour of the world.[544]

The mission of Christ was therefore by means of Reason to make men
capable of freedom[545]: "When at last reason becomes the religion of
man, so will the problem be solved."[546]

Weishaupt goes on to show that Freemasonry can be interpreted in the
same manner. The secret doctrine concealed in the teaching of Christ was
handed down by initiates who "hid themselves and their doctrine under
the cover of Freemasonry,"[547] and in a long explanation of Masonic
hieroglyphics he indicates the analogies between the Hiramic legend and
the story of Christ. "I say then Hiram is Christ," and after giving one
of his reasons for this assertion, adds: "Here then is much ground
gained, although I myself cannot help laughing at this explanation
[_obwohl ich selbst uber diese Explication im Grund lachen muss_]."[548]
Weishaupt then proceeds to give further interpretations of his own
devising to the masonic ritual, including an imaginary translation of
certain words supposed to be derived from Hebrew, and ends up by saying:
"One will be able to show several more resemblances between Hiram and
the life and death of Christ, or drag them in by the hair."[549] So much
for Weishaupt's respect for the Grand Legend of Freemasonry!

In this manner Weishaupt demonstrates that "Freemasonry is hidden
Christianity, at least my explanations of the hieroglyphics fit this
perfectly; and in the way in which I explain Christianity no one need be
ashamed to be a Christian, for I leave the name and substitute for it

But this is of course only the secret of what Weishaupt calls "real
Freemasonry"[551] in contradistinction to the official kind, which he
regards as totally unenlightened: "Had not the noble and elect remained
in the background ... new depravity would have broken out in the human
race, and through Regents, Priests, and Freemasons Reason would have
been banished from the earth."[552]

In Weishaupt's masonic system, therefore, the designs of the Order with
regard to religion are not confided to the mere Freemasons, but only to
the Illuminati. Under the heading of "Higher Mysteries" Weishaupt

     The man who is good for nothing better remains a Scottish Knight.
     If he is, however, a particularly industrious co-ordinator
     [_Sammler_], observer, worker, he becomes a Priest.... If there are
     amongst these [Priests] high speculative intellects, they become
     Magi. These collect and put in order the higher philosophical
     system and work at the People's Religion, which the Order will
     next give to the world. Should these high geniuses also be fit to
     rule the world, they become Regents. This is the last degree.[553]

Philo (the Baron von Knigge) also throws an interesting light on the
religious designs of the Illuminati. In a letter to Cato he explains the
necessity of devising a system that will satisfy fanatics and
freethinkers alike: "So as to work on both these classes of men and
unite them, we must find an explanation to the Christian religion ...
make this the secret of Freemasonry and turn it to our purpose."[554]
Philo continues:

     We say then: Jesus wished to introduce no new religion, but only to
     restore natural religion and reason to their old rights. Thereby he
     wished to unite men in a great universal association, and through
     the spread of a wiser morality, enlightenment, and the combating of
     all prejudices to make them capable of governing themselves; so the
     secret meaning of his teaching was to lead men without revolution
     to universal liberty and equality. There are many passages in the
     Bible which can be made use of and explained, and so all
     quarrelling between the sects ceases if one can find a reasonable
     meaning in the teaching of Jesus--be it true or not. As, however,
     this simple religion was afterwards distorted, so were these
     teachings imparted to us through Disciplinam Arcani and finally
     through Freemasonry, and all masonic hieroglyphics can be explained
     with this object. Spartacus has collected very good data for this
     and I have myself added to them, ... and so I have got both degrees

     Now therefore that people see that we are the only real and true
     Christians, we can say a word more against priests and princes, but
     I have so managed that after previous tests I can receive pontiffs
     and kings in this degree. In the higher Mysteries we must then
     (_a_) disclose the pious fraud and (_b_) reveal from all writings
     the origin of all religious lies and their connexion....[555]

So admirably did this ruse succeed that we find Spartacus writing

     You cannot imagine what consideration and sensation our Priest's
     degree is arousing. The most wonderful thing is that great
     Protestant and reformed theologians who belong to (*) [Illuminism]
     still believe that the religious teaching imparted in it contains
     the true and genuine spirit of the Christian religion. Oh! men, of
     what cannot you be persuaded? I never thought that I should become
     the founder of a new religion.[556]

It is on the "illuminized" clergy and professors that Weishaupt counts
principally for the work of the Order.

     Through the influence of the Brothers [he writes], the Jesuits have
     been removed from all professorships, and the University of
     Ingoldstadt has been quite cleansed of them....[557]

Thus the way is cleared for Weishaupt's adepts.

The Institute of Cadets also comes under the control of the Order:

     All the professors are members of the Illuminati, ... so will all
     the pupils become disciples of Illuminism.[558]


     We have provided our clerical members with good benefices,
     parishes, posts at Court.

     Through our influence Arminius and Cortez have been made professors
     at Ephesus.

       *       *       *       *       *

     The German schools are quite under [the influence of] (*) and now
     only members have charge of them.

     The charitable association is also directed by (*).

       *       *       *       *       *

     Soon we shall draw over to us the whole Bartholomew Institute for
     young clergymen; the preparations have already been made and the
     prospects are very good, by this means we shall be able to provide
     the whole of Bavaria with proper priests.[559]

But religion and Freemasonry are not the only means by which Illuminism
can be spread.

     We must consider [says Weishaupt], how we can begin to work under
     another form. If only the aim is achieved, it does not matter under
     what cover it takes place, and a cover is always necessary. For in
     concealment lies a great part of our strength. For this reason we
     must always cover ourselves with the name of another society. The
     lodges that are under Freemasonry are in the meantime the most
     suitable cloak for our high purpose, because the world is already
     accustomed to expect nothing great from them which merits
     attention.... As in the spiritual Orders of the Roman Church,
     religion was, alas! only a pretence, so must our Order also in a
     nobler way try to conceal itself behind a learned society or
     something of the kind.... A society concealed in this manner cannot
     be worked against. In case of a prosecution or of treason the
     superiors cannot be discovered.... We shall be shrouded in
     impenetrable darkness from spies and emissaries of other

In order to give a good appearance to the Order, Weishaupt particularly
indicates the necessity for enlisting esteemed and "respectable"
persons,[561] but above all young men whom he regards as the most likely
subjects. "I cannot use men as they are," he observes, "but I must first
form them."[562] Youth naturally lends itself best to this process.
"Seek the society of young people," Weishaupt writes to Ajax, "watch
them, and if one of them pleases you, lay your hand on him."[563] "Seek
out young and already skilful people.... Our people must be engaging,
enterprising, intriguing, and adroit. Above all the first."[564]

If possible they should also be good-looking--"beautiful people,
_caeteris paribus_...."

     Such people have generally gentle manners, a tender heart, and are,
     when well practised in other things, of the greatest use in
     undertakings, for their first glance attracts; but their spirit
     _n'a pas la profondeur des physiognomies sombres_. They are,
     however, also less disposed to riots and disturbances than the
     darker physiognomies. That is why one must know how to use one's
     people. Above all, the high, soulful eye pleases me and the free,
     open brow.[565]

With these novices the adept of Illuminism is to proceed slowly, talking
backwards and forwards:

     One must speak, first in one way, then in another, so as not to
     commit oneself and to make one's real way of thinking impenetrable
     to one's inferiors.[566]

Weishaupt also insists on the importance of exciting the candidate's
curiosity and then drawing back again, after the manner of the Fatimite

     I have no fault to find with your [methods of] reception
     ["Spartacus" writes to "Cato"], except that they are too quick....
     You should proceed gradually in a roundabout way by means of
     suspense and expectations, so as first to arouse indefinite, vague
     curiosity, and then when the candidate declares himself, present
     the object, which he will then seize with both hands.[567]

By this means his vanity will also be flattered, because one will arouse
the pleasure of "knowing something which everyone does not know, and
about which the greater part of the world is groping in darkness."[568]

For the same reason the candidate must be impressed with the importance
of secret societies and the part they have played in the destinies of
the world:

     One illustrates this by the Order of the Jesuits, of the
     Freemasons, by the secret associations of the ancients, one asserts
     that all events in the world occur from a hundred secret springs
     and causes, to which secret associations above all belong; one
     arouses the pleasure of quiet, hidden power and of insight into
     hidden secrets.[569]

At this point one is to begin to "show glimpses and to let fall here and
there remarks that may be interpreted in two ways," so as to bring the
candidate to the point of saying: "If I had the chance to enter such an
association, I would go into it at once." "These discourses," says
Weishaupt, "are to be often repeated."[570]

In the discourse of reception to the "Illuminatus Dirigens," the appeal
to love of power plays the most important part:

     Do you realize sufficiently what it means to rule--to rule in a
     secret Society? Not only over the lesser or more important of the
     populace, but over the best men, over men of all ranks, nations,
     and religions, to rule without external force, to unite them
     indissolubly, to breathe one spirit and soul into them, men
     distributed over all parts of the world?...[571]

     And finally, do you know what secret societies are? what a place
     they occupy in the great kingdom of the world's events? Do you
     really think they are unimportant, transitory appearances?[572]

But the admission of political aims is reserved only for the higher
grades of the Order. "With the beginner," says Weishaupt, "we must be
careful about books on religion and the State. I have reserved these in
my plan for the higher degrees."[573] Accordingly the discourse to the
"Minerval" is expressly designed to put him off the track. Thus the
initiator is to say to him:

     After two years' reflection, experience, intercourse, reading of
     the graduated writings and information, you will necessarily have
     formed the idea that the final aim of our Society is nothing less
     than to win power and riches, to undermine secular or religious
     government, and to obtain the mastery of the world, and so on. If
     you have represented our Society to yourself from this point of
     view or have entered it in this expectation, you have mightily
     deceived yourself....[574]

The initiator, without informing the Minerval of the real aim of the
Society, then goes on to say that he is now free to leave it if he
wishes. By this means the leaders were able to eliminate ambitious
people who might become their rivals to power and to form their ranks
out of men who would submit to be led blindly onward by unseen
directors. "My circumstances necessitate," Spartacus writes to Cato,
"that I should remain hidden from most of the members as long as I live.
I am obliged to do everything through five or six persons."[575] So
carefully was this secret guarded that until the papers of the
Illuminati were seized in 1786 no one outside this inner circle knew
that Weishaupt was the head of the Order. Yet if we are to believe his
own assertions, he had been throughout in supreme control. Again and
again he impresses on his _intimes_ the necessity for unity of command
in the Order: "One must show how easy it would be for one clever head to
direct hundreds and thousands of men,"[576] and he illustrates this
system by the table reproduced on the next page, to which he appends the
following explanation:

     I have two immediately below me into whom I breathe my whole
     spirit, and each of these two has again two others, and so on. In
     this way I can set a thousand men in motion and on fire in the
     simplest manner, and in this way one must impart orders and operate
     on politics.[577]

Thus, as in the case of Abdullah ibn Maymun's society, "the
extraordinary result was brought about that a multitude of men of divers
beliefs were all working together for an object known only to a few of

Enough has now been quoted from the correspondence of the Illuminati to
show their aims and methods according to their own admissions. We shall
now see how far their apologists are justified in describing them as
"men of the strictest morality and humanity."[578] Doubtless there were
many excellent people in the outer ranks of the Order, but this is not
the contention of Mr. Gould, who expressly states that "all the
prominent members of this association were estimable men both in public
and in private life." These further extracts from their correspondence
may be left to speak for themselves.

Character of the Illuminati

In June 1782 Weishaupt writes to "Cato" as follows:

     Oh, in politics and morality you are far behind, my gentlemen.
     Judge further if such a man as Marcus Aurelius[579] finds out how
     wretched it [Illuminism] appears in Athens [Munich]; what a
     collection of immoral men, of whoremongers, liars, debtors,
     boasters, and vain fools they have amongst them. If he saw all
     that, what do you suppose the man would think? Would he not be
     ashamed to find himself in such an association, in which the
     leaders arouse the greatest expectations and carry out the best
     plan in such a miserable manner? And all this out of caprice,
     expediency, etc. Judge whether I am not right.[580]

     [Illustration: Diagram of Weishapt's System. From _Nachtrag von
     weitern Originalschriften der Illuminatensekte_, p. 32. Munchen,

     From Thebes [Freysing] I hear fatal news; they have received into
     the lodge the scandal of the whole town, the dissolute debtor
     Propertius, who is trumpeted abroad by the whole "personnel" of
     Athens [Munich], Thebes and Erzerum [Eichstadt]; D. also appears
     to be a bad man. Socrates who would be a capital man [_ein Capital
     Mann_] is continually drunk, Augustus in the worst repute, and
     Alcibiades sits the whole day with the innkeeper's wife sighing and
     pining: Tiberius tried in Corinth to rape the sister of Democedes
     and the husband came in. In Heaven's name, what are these for
     Areopagites! We upper ones, write, read and work ourselves to
     death, offer to (*) our health, fame and fortune, whilst these
     gentlemen indulge their weaknesses, go a whoring, cause scandals
     and yet are Areopagites and want to know about everything.[581]

     Concerning Arminius there are great complaints.... He is an
     unbearable, obstinate, arrogant, vain fool![582]

     Let Celsus, Marius, Scipio, and Ajax do what they will ... no one
     does us so much harm as Celsus, no one is less to be reasoned with
     than Celsus, and perhaps few could have been so much use to us as
     Celsus.... Marius is obstinate and can see no great plan, Scipio is
     negligent, and of Ajax I will not speak at all.... Confucius is
     worth very little: he is too inquisitive and a terrible chatterer
     [_ein grausamer Schwatzer_].[583]

     Agrippa must be quite struck off our list, for the rumour goes
     round ... that he has stolen a gold and silver watch together with
     a ring from our best fellow-worker Sulla.[584]

It will doubtless be suggested at this point that all these letters
merely portray the lofty idealist sorrowing over the frailties of his
erring disciples, but let us hear what Weishaupt has to say about
himself. In a letter to Marius (Hertel) he writes:

     And now in the strictest confidence, a matter near my heart, which
     robs me of all rest, makes me incapable of anything and drives me
     to despair. I stand in danger of losing my honour and my reputation
     which gave me so much power over our people. Think, my
     sister-in-law is expecting a child.[585] I have for this purpose
     sent to Euriphon in Athens to solicit the marriage licence and
     Promotorial from Rome, you see how much depends on this and that no
     time must be lost; every minute is precious. But if the
     dispensation does not arrive, what shall I do? How shall I make
     amends to the person since I alone am to blame? We have already
     tried several ways to get rid of the child; she herself was
     resolved for anything. But Euriphon is too timid and yet I see no
     other expedient, if I could ensure the silence of Celsus he could
     help me and indeed he already promised me this three years
     ago....[586] If you can help me out of this dilemma, you will give
     me back life, honour, peace and power to work.... I do not know
     what devil led me astray, I who always in these circumstances took
     extreme precautions.[587]

A little later Weishaupt writes again:

     All fatalities happen to me at the same time. Now there is my
     mother dead! Corpse, wedding, christening all in a short time, one
     on the top of the other. What a wonderful mix-up

So much for what Mr. Gould calls the "rare qualities" of Weishaupt's
heart. Let us now listen to the testimony of Weishaupt's principal
coadjutor, Philo (the Baron von Knigge), to whom the "historian of
Freemasonry" refers as "a lovable enthusiast." In all subversive
associations, whether open or secret, directed by men who aim at power,
a moment is certain to arrive when the ambitions of the leaders come
into conflict. This is the history of every revolutionary organization
during the last 150 years. It was when the inevitable climax had been
reached between Weishaupt and Knigge that "Philo" wrote to "the most
loving Cato" in the following terms:

     It is not Mahomed and A. who are so much to blame for my break with
     Spartacus, as the Jesuitical conduct of this man which has so often
     turned us against each other in order to rule despotically over
     men, who, if they have not perhaps such a rich imagination as
     himself, also do not possess so much cuteness and cunning,

In a further letter Philo goes on to enumerate the services he has
rendered to Weishaupt in the past:

     At the bidding of Spartacus I have written against ex-Jesuits and
     Rosicrucians, persecuted people who never did me any harm, thrown
     the _Stricte Observance_ into confusion, drawn the best amongst
     them to us, told them of the worthiness of (*), of its power, its
     age, the excellence of its Chiefs, the blamelessness of its higher
     leaders, the importance of its knowledge, and given great ideas of
     the uprightness of its views; those amongst us who are now working
     so actively for us but cling much to religiousness [_sehr an
     Religiositat kleben_] and who feared our intention was to spread
     Deism, I have sought to persuade that the higher Superiors had
     nothing less than this intention. Gradually, however, I shall work
     it as I please [_nach und nach wirke ich dock was ich will_]. If I
     now were to ... give a hint to the Jesuits and Rosicrucians as to
     who is persecuting them ... if I were to make known (to a few
     people) the Jesuitical character of the man who leads perhaps all
     of us by the nose, uses us for his ambitious schemes, sacrifices us
     as often as his obstinacy requires, [if I were to make known to
     them] what they have to fear from such a man, from such a machine
     behind which perhaps Jesuits may be concealed or might conceal
     themselves; if I were to assure those who seek for secrets that
     they have nothing to expect; if I were to confide to those who hold
     religion dear, the principles of the General; ... if I were to draw
     the attention of the lodges to an association behind which the
     Illuminati are concealed; if I were again to associate myself with
     princes and Freemasons ... but I shrink from the thought, vengeance
     will not carry me so far....[590]

We have now seen enough of the aims and methods of the Illuminati and
the true characters of their leaders from their own admissions. To make
the case complete it would be necessary also to give a resume of the
confessions made by the ex-Illuminati, the four professors Cosandey,
Grunberger, Utzschneider, and Renner, as also of the further published
works of the Illuminati--but space and time forbid. What is needed is a
complete book on the subject, consisting of translations of the most
important passages in all the contemporary German publications.

From the extracts given above, can it, however, be seriously contended
that Barruel or Robison exaggerated the guilt of the Order? Do my
literal translations differ materially in sense from the translations
and occasional paraphrases given by the much-abused couple?

Even those contemporaries, Mounier and the member of the Illuminati[591]
who set out to refute Barruel and Lombard de Langres, merely provide
further confirmation of their views. Thus Mounier is obliged to confess
that the real design of Illuminism was "to undermine all civil order,"[592]
and "Ancien Illumine" asserts in language no less forcible than
Barruel's own that Weishaupt "made a code of Machiavellism," that his
method was "a profound perversity, flattering everything that was base
and rancorous in human nature in order to arrive at his ends," that he
was not inspired by "a wise spirit of reform" but by a "fanatical enmity
inimical to all authority on earth." The only essential points on which
the opposing parties differ is that whilst Mounier and "Ancien Illumine"
deny the influence of the Illuminati on the French Revolution and
maintain that they ceased to exist in 1786, Barruel and Lombard de
Langres present them as the inspirers of the Jacobins and declare them
to be still active after the Revolution had ended. That on this point,
at any rate, the latter were right, we shall see in a further chapter.

The great question that presents itself after studying the writings of
the Illuminati is: what was the motive power behind the Order? If we
admit the possibility that Frederick the Great and the Stricte
Observance, working through an inner circle of Freemasons at the Lodge
St. Theodore, may have provided the first impetus and that Kolmer
initiated Weishaupt into Oriental methods of organization, the source of
inspiration from which Weishaupt subsequently drew his anarchic
philosophy still remains obscure. It has frequently been suggested that
his real inspirers were Jews, and the Jewish writer Bernard Lazare
definitely states that "there were Jews, Cabalistic Jews, around
Weishaupt."[593] A writer in _La Vieille France_ went so far as to
designate these Jews as Moses Mendelssohn, Wessely, and the bankers
Itzig, Friedlander, and Meyer. But no documentary evidence has ever been
produced in support of these statements. It is therefore necessary to
examine them in the light of probability.

Now, as I have already shown, the theosophical ideas of the Cabala play
no part in the system of Illuminism; the only trace of Cabalism to be
found amongst the papers of the Order is a list of recipes for procuring
abortion, for making aphrodisiacs, Aqua Toffana, pestilential vapours,
etc., headed "Cabala Major."[594] It is possible, then, that the
Illuminati may have learnt something of "venefic magic" and the use of
certain natural substances from Jewish Cabalists; at the same time Jews
appear to have been only in rare cases admitted to the Order. Everything
indeed tends to prove that Weishaupt and his first coadjutors, Zwack and
Massenhausen, were pure Germans. Nevertheless there is between the
ideas of Weishaupt and of Lessing's "Falk" a distinct resemblance; both
in the writings of the Illuminati and in Lessing's _Dialogues_ we find
the same vein of irony with regard to Freemasonry, the same design that
it should be replaced by a more effectual system,[595]the same
denunciations of the existing social order and of bourgeois society, the
same theory that "men should be self-governing," the same plan of
obliterating all distinctions between nations, even the same simile of
the bee-hive as applied to human life[596] which, as I have shown
elsewhere, was later on adopted by the anarchist Proudhon. It may,
however, legitimately be urged that these ideas were those of the inner
masonic circle to which both Lessing and Weishaupt belonged, and that,
though placed in the mouth of Falk, they were in no sense Judaic.

But Lessing was also the friend and admirer of Moses Mendelssohn, who
has been suggested as one of Weishaupt's inspirers. Now, at first sight
nothing seems more improbable than that an orthodox Jew such as
Mendelssohn should have accorded any sympathy to the anarchic scheme of
Weishaupt. Nevertheless, certain of Weishaupt's doctrines are not
incompatible with the principles of orthodox Judaism. Thus, for example,
Weishaupt's theory--so strangely at variance with his denunciations of
the family system--that as a result of Illuminism "the head of every
family will be what Abraham was, the patriarch, the priest, and the
unfettered lord of his family, and Reason will be the only code of
Man,"[597] is essentially a Jewish conception.

It will be objected that the patriarchal system as conceived by orthodox
Jews could by no means include the religion of Reason as advocated by
Weishaupt. It must not, however, be forgotten that to the Jewish mind
the human race presents a dual aspect, being divided into two distinct
categories--the privileged race to whom the promises of God were made,
and the great mass of humanity which remains outside the pale. Whilst
strict adherence to the commands of the Talmud and the laws of Moses is
expected of the former, the most indefinite of religious creeds suffices
for the nations excluded from the privileges that Jewish birth confers.
It was thus that Moses Mendelssohn wrote to the pastor Lavater, who had
sought to win him over to Christianity:

     Pursuant to the principles of my religion, I am not to seek to
     convert anyone who is not born according to our laws. This
     proneness to conversion, the origin of which some would fain tack
     on to the Jewish religion, is, nevertheless, diametrically opposed
     to it. Our rabbis unanimously teach that the written and oral laws
     which form conjointly our revealed religion are obligatory on our
     nation only. "Moses commanded us a law, even the inheritance of the
     congregation of Jacob." We believe that all other nations of the
     earth have been directed by God to adhere to the laws of nature,
     and to the religion of the patriarchs. Those who regulate their
     lives according to the precepts of this _religion of nature and of
     reason_[598] are called virtuous men of other nations and are the
     children of eternal salvation.[599] Our rabbis are so remote from
     Proselytomania, that they enjoin us to dissuade, by forcible
     remonstrances, everyone who comes forward to be converted. (The
     Talmud says ... "proselytes are annoying to Israel like a

But was not this "religion of nature and of reason" the precise
conception of Weishaupt?

Whether, then, Weishaupt was directly inspired by Mendelssohn or any
other Jew must remain for the present an open question. But the Jewish
connexions of certain other Illuminati cannot be disputed. The most
important of these was Mirabeau, who arrived in Berlin just after the
death of Mendelssohn and was welcomed by his disciples in the Jewish
salon of Henrietta Herz. It was these Jews, "ardent supporters of the
French Revolution"[601] at its outset, who prevailed on Mirabeau to
write his great apology for their race under the form of a panegyric of

To sum up, I do not so far see in Illuminism a Jewish conspiracy to
destroy Christianity, but rather a movement finding its principal
dynamic force in the ancient spirit of revolt against the existing
social and moral order, aided and abetted perhaps by Jews who saw in it
a system that might be turned to their own advantage. Meanwhile,
Illuminism made use of every other movement that could serve its
purpose. As the contemporary de Luchet has expressed it:

     The system of the Illumines is not to embrace the dogmas of a sect,
     but to turn all errors to its advantage, to concentrate in itself
     everything that men have invented in the way of duplicity and

More than this, Illuminism was not only the assemblage of all errors, of
all ruses, of all subtleties of a theoretic kind, it was also an
assemblage of all practical methods for rousing men to action. For in
the words of von Hammer on the Assassins, that cannot be too often

     Opinions are powerless so long as they only confuse the brain
     without arming the hand. Scepticism and free-thinking as long as
     they occupied only the minds of the indolent and philosophical have
     caused the ruin of no throne.... It is nothing to the ambitious man
     what people believe, but it is everything to know how he may turn
     them for the execution of his projects.

This was what Weishaupt so admirably understood; he knew how to take
from every association, past and present, the portions he required and
to weld them all into a working system of terrible efficiency--the
disintegrating doctrines of the Gnostics and Manicheans, of the modern
philosophers and Encyclopaedists, the methods of the Ismailis and the
Assassins, the discipline of the Jesuits and Templars, the organization
and secrecy of the Freemasons, the philosophy of Machiavelli, the
mystery of the Rosicrucians--he knew moreover, how to enlist the right
elements in all existing associations as well as isolated individuals
and turn them to his purpose. So in the army of the Illuminati we find
men of every shade of thought, from the poet Goethe[602] to the meanest
intriguer--lofty idealists, social reformers, visionaries, and at the
same time the ambitious, the rancorous, and the disgruntled, men swayed
by lust or embittered by grievances, all these differing in their aims
yet by Weishaupt's admirable system of watertight compartments precluded
from a knowledge of these differences and all marching, unconsciously or
not, towards the same goal.

Although this was not the invention of Weishaupt but had been
foreshadowed many centuries earlier in the East, it was Weishaupt, so
far as we know, who reduced it to a working system for the West--a
system which has been adhered to by succeeding groups of
world-revolutionaries up to the present day. It is for this reason that
I have quoted at length the writings of the Illuminati--all the ruses,
all the hypocrisy, all the subtle methods of camouflage which
characterized the Order will be found again in the insidious propaganda
both of the modern secret societies and the open revolutionary
organizations whose object is to subvert all order, all morality, and
all religion.

I maintain, therefore, with greater conviction than ever the importance
of Illuminism in the history of world-revolution. But for this
co-ordination of methods the philosophers and Encyclopaedists might have
gone on for ever inveighing against thrones and altars, the Martinistes
evoking spirits, the magicians weaving spells, the Freemasons declaiming
on universal brotherhood--none of these would have "armed the hand" and
driven the infuriated mobs into the streets of Paris; it was not until
the emissaries of Weishaupt formed an alliance with the Orleaniste
leaders that vague subversive theory became active revolution.



The first Masonic body with which the Illuminati formed an alliance was
the Stricte Observance, to which the Illuminati Knigge and Bode both
belonged. Cagliostro had also been initiated into the Stricte Observance
near Frankfurt and was now employed as agent of the combined order.
According to his own confession his mission "was to work so as to turn
Freemasonry in the direction of Weishaupt's projects"; and the funds he
drew upon were those of the Illuminati.[603] Cagliostro also formed a
link with the Martinistes, whose doctrines, though derided by Weishaupt,
were useful to his plan in attracting by their mystical character those
who would have been repelled by the cynicism of the Illuminati.
According to Barruel, it was the Martinistes who--following in the
footsteps of the Rosicrucians--had suggested to Weishaupt the device of
presenting Christ as an "Illuminatus" which had led to such triumphant
results amongst the Protestant clergy.

But if Weishaupt made use of the various masonic associations, they on
their account found in him a valuable ally. The fact is that by this
time both French and German Freemasons were very much at sea with regard
to the whole subject of Masonry and needed someone to give a point to
their deliberations. Thus at the Congress of Wilhelmsbad convened on
July 16, 1782, and attended by representatives of masonic bodies from
all over the world, the first question propounded by the Grand Master of
the Templars (i.e. the Stricte Observance) was: "_What is the real
object of the Order and its true origin_?" So, says Mirabeau in relating
this incident, "this same Grand Master and all his assistants had worked
for more than twenty years with incredible ardour at a thing of which
they knew neither the real object nor the origin."[604]

Two years later the Freemasons of France do not appear to have been any
less in the dark on this matter, for we find them writing to General
Rainsford, one of the English Masons who had been present at the
Congress of Wilhelmsbad, as follows:

     Since you say that Masonry has never experienced any variation in
     its aim, do you then know with certainty what this unique object
     is? Is it useful for the happiness of mankind?... Tell us if it is
     of an historical, political, hermetical, or scientific nature?...
     Moral, social, or religious?... Are the traditions oral or

But Weishaupt had a very definite object in view, which was to gain
control of all Freemasonry, and though he himself was not present at the
Congress, his coadjutor Knigge, who had been travelling about Germany
proclaiming himself the reformer of Freemasonry, presented himself at
Wilhelmsbad, armed with full authority from Weishaupt, and succeeded in
enrolling a number of magistrates, savants, ecclesiastics, and ministers
of state as Illuminati and in allying himself with the deputies of
Saint-Martin and Willermoz. Vanquished by this powerful rival, the
Stricte Observance ceased temporarily to exist and Illuminism was left
in possession of the field.

On February 15, 1785, a further congress took place in Paris, convened
this time by the Philalethes, at which the Illuminati Bode (alias
Amelius) and the Baron de Busche (alias Bayard) were present, also--it
has been stated--the "magician" Cagliostro, the magnetiser Mesmer, the
Cabalist Duchanteau, and of course the leaders of the Philalethes,
Savalette de Langes, who was elected President, the Marquis de
Chefdebien, and a number of German members of the same Order. This
congress led to no very practical results, and a further and more secret
one was convened in the following year at Frankfurt, where a Grand Lodge
had been established in 1783. It was here that the deaths of Louis XVI
and Gustavus III of Sweden are said to have been decreed.

But already in this same year of 1785 the first act of the revolutionary
drama had been played out. The famous "Affair of the Necklace" can never
be understood in the pages of official history; only an examination of
the mechanism provided by the secret societies can explain that
extraordinary episode, which, in the opinion of Napoleon, contributed
more than any other cause to the explosion of 1789. In its double attack
on Church and Monarchy the Affair of the Necklace fulfilled the purpose
of both Frederick the Great and of the Illuminati. Cagliostro, we know,
received both money and instructions from the Order for carrying out the
plot, and after it had ended in his own and the Cardinal de Rohan's
exoneration and exile, we find him embarking on fresh secret-society
work in London, where he arrived in November of the same year.
Announcing himself as the Count Sutkowski, member of a society at
Avignon, he "visited the Swedenborgians at their Theosophical Society
meeting in rooms in the Middle Temple and displayed minute acquaintance
with their doctrines, whilst claiming a superior knowledge."[606]
According to a generally received opinion, Cagliostro was the author of
a mysterious proclamation which appeared at this moment in the _Morning
Herald_ in the cypher of the Rose-Croix.[607]

But in the year before these events an extraordinary thing had happened.
An evangelist preacher and Illuminatus named Lanze had been sent in July
1785 as an emissary of the Illuminati to Silesia, but on his journey he
was struck down by lightning. The instructions of the Order were found
on him, and as a result its intrigues were conclusively revealed to the
Government of Bavaria.[608] A searching enquiry followed, the houses of
Zwack and Bassus were raided, and it was then that the documents and
other incriminating evidence referred to in the preceding chapter of
this book were seized and made public under the name of _The Original
Writings of the Order of the Illuminati_ (1787). But before this the
evidence of four ex-Illuminati, professors of Munich, was published in
two separate volumes.[609]

The diabolical nature of Illuminism now remained no longer a matter of
doubt, and the Order was officially suppressed. The opponents of Barruel
and Robison therefore declare that Illuminism came finally to an end. We
shall see later by documentary evidence that it never ceased to exist,
and that twenty-five years later not only the Illuminati but Weishaupt
himself were still as active as ever behind the scenes in Freemasonry.

But for the present we must follow its course from the moment of its
apparent extinction in 1786. This course can be traced not only through
the "German Union," which is believed to have been a reorganization of
the original Illuminati, but through the secret societies of France.
Illuminism in reality is less an Order than a principle, and a principle
which can work better under cover of something else. Weishaupt himself
had laid down the precept that the work of Illuminism could best be
conducted "under other names and other occupations," and henceforth we
shall always find it carried on by this skilful system of camouflage.

The first cover adopted was the lodge of the "Amis Reunis" in Paris,
with which, as we have already seen, the Illuminati had established
relations. But now in 1787 a definite alliance was effected by the
aforementioned Illuminati, Bode and Busche, who in response to an
invitation from the secret committee of the lodge arrived in Paris in
February of this year. Here they found the old Illuminatus Mirabeau--who
with Talleyrand had been largely instrumental in summoning these German
Brothers--and, according to Gustave Bord,[610] two important members
of the Stricte Observance, the Marquis de Chefdebien d'Armisson
(_Eques a Capite Galeato_) and an Austrian, the Comte Leopold de
Kollowrath-Krakowski (_Eques ab Aquila Fulgente_) who also belonged to
Weishaupt's Order of Illuminati in which he bore the pseudonym of

It is important here to recognize the peculiar part played by the Lodge
of the _Amis Reunis_. Whilst the _Loge des Neuf Soeurs_ was largely
composed of middle-class revolutionaries such as Brissot, Danton,
Camille Desmoulins, and Champfort, and the _Loge de la Candeur_ of
aristocratic revolutionaries--Lafayette as well as the Orleanistes, the
Marquis de Sillery, the Duc d'Aiguillon, the Marquis de Custine, and the
Lameths--_the Loge du Contrat Social_ was mainly composed of honest
visionaries who entertained no revolutionary projects but, according to
Barruel, were strongly Royalist. The role of the "Amis Reunis" was to
collect together the subversives from all other lodges--Philalethes,
Rose-Croix, members of the _Loge des Neuf Sours_ and of the _Loge de la
Candeur_ and of the most secret committees of the Grand Orient, as well
as deputies from the _Illumines_ in the provinces. Here, then, at the
lodge in the Rue de la Sordiere, under the direction of Savalette de
Langes, were to be found the disciples of Weishaupt, of Swedenborg, and
of Saint-Martin, as well as the practical makers of revolution--the
agitators and demagogues of 1789.

The influence of German Illuminism on all these heterogeneous elements
was enormous. From this moment, says a further Bavarian report of the
matter, a complete change took place in the Order of the "Amis Reunis."
Hitherto only vaguely subversive, the Chevaliers Bienfaisants became the
Chevaliers Malfaisants, the Amis Reunis became the Ennemis Reunis. The
arrival of the two Germans, Bode and Busche, gave the finishing touch to
the conspiracy. "The avowed object of their journey was to obtain
information about magnetism, which was just then making a great stir,"
but in reality, "taken up with the gigantic plan of their Order," their
real aim was to make proselytes. It will be seen that the following
passage exactly confirms the account given by Barruel:

     As the Lodge of the _Amis Reunis_ collected together everything
     that could be found out from all other masonic systems in the
     world, so the way was soon paved there for Illuminism. It was also
     not long before this lodge together with all those that depended on
     it was impregnated with Illuminism. The former system of all these
     was as if wiped out, so that from this time onwards the framework
     of the Philalethes quite disappeared and in the place of the former
     Cabalistic-magical extravagance [_Schwarmerei_] came in the

It was therefore not Martinism, Cabalism, or Freemasonry that in
themselves provided the real revolutionary force. Many non-illuminized
Freemasons, as Barruel himself declares, remained loyal to the throne
and altar, and as soon as the monarchy was seen to be in danger the
Royalist Brothers of the _Contrat Social_ boldly summoned the lodges to
coalesce in defence of King and Constitution; even some of the upper
Masons, who in the degree of Knight Kadosch had sworn hatred to the Pope
and Bourbon monarchy, rallied likewise to the royal cause. "The French
spirit triumphed over the masonic spirit in the greater number of the
Brothers. Opinions as well as hearts were still for the King." It
needed the devastating doctrines of Weishaupt to undermine this spirit
and to turn the "degrees of vengeance" from vain ceremonial into
terrible fact.

If, then, it is said that the Revolution was prepared in the lodges of
Freemasons--and many French Masons have boasted of the fact--let it
always be added that it was _Illuminized Freemasonry_ that made the
Revolution, and that the Masons who acclaim it are illuminized Masons,
inheritors of the same tradition introduced into the lodges of France in
1787 by the disciples of Weishaupt, "patriarch of the Jacobins."

Many of the Freemasons of France in 1787 were thus not conscious allies
of the Illuminati. According to Cadet de Gassicourt, there were in all
the lodges only twenty-seven real initiates; the rest were largely dupes
who knew little or nothing of the source whence the fresh influence
among them derived. The amazing feature of the whole situation is that
the most enthusiastic supporters of the movement were men belonging to
the upper classes and even to the royal families of Europe. A
contemporary relates that no less than thirty princes--reigning and
non-reigning--had taken under their protection a confederation from
which they stood to lose everything and had become so imbued by its
principles that they were inaccessible to reason.[612] Intoxicated by
the flattery lavished on them by the priests of Illuminism, they adopted
a religion of which they understood nothing. Weishaupt, of course, had
taken care that none of these royal dupes should be initiated into the
real aims of the Order, and at first adhered to the original plan of
excluding them altogether; but the value of their co-operation soon
became apparent and by a supreme irony it was with a Grand Duke that he
himself took refuge.

But if the great majority of princes and nobles were stricken with
blindness at this crisis, a few far-seeing spirits recognized the danger
and warned the world of the impending disaster. In 1787 Cardinal
Caprara, Apostolic Nuncio at Vienna, addressed a confidential memoir to
the Pope, in which he pointed out that the activities carried on in
Germany by the different sects of Illumines, of Perfectibilists, of
Freemasons, etc., were increasing.

     The danger is approaching, for from all these senseless dreams of
     Illuminism, of Swedenborgianism, or of Freemasonry a frightful
     reality will emerge. Visionaries have their time; the revolution
     they forebode will have its time also.[613]

A more amazing prophecy, however, was the _Essai sur la Secte des
Illumines_, by the Marquis de Luchet,[614] a Liberal noble who played
some part in the revolutionary movement, yet who nevertheless realized
the dangers of Illuminism. Thus, as early as 1789, before the Revolution
had really developed, de Luchet uttered these words of warning:

     Deluded people ... learn that there exists a conspiracy in favour
     of despotism against liberty, of incapacity against talent, of vice
     against virtue, of ignorance against enlightenment.... This society
     aims at governing the world.... Its object is universal domination.
     This plan may seem extraordinary, incredible--yes, but not
     chimerical ... no such calamity has ever yet afflicted the world.

De Luchet then goes on to foretell precisely the events that were to
take place three and four years later; he describes the position of a
king who has to recognize masters above himself and to authorize their
"abominable regime," to become the plaything of an ambitious and
fanatical horde which has taken possession of his will.

     See him condemned to serve the passions of all that surround him
     ... to raise degraded men to power, to prostitute his judgement by
     choices that dishonour his prudence....

All this was exactly fulfilled during the reign of the Girondin ministry
of 1792. The campaign of destruction carried out in the summer of 1793
is thus foretold:

     We do not mean to say that the country where the Illumines reign
     will cease to exist, but it will fall into such a degree of
     humiliation that it will no longer count in politics, that the
     population will diminish, that the inhabitants who resist the
     inclination to pass into a foreign land will no longer enjoy the
     happiness of consideration, nor the charms of society, nor the
     gifts of commerce.

And de Luchet ends with this despairing appeal to the powers of Europe:

     Masters of the world, cast your eyes on a desolated multitude,
     listen to their cries, their tears, their hopes. A mother asks you
     to restore her son, a wife her husband, your cities for the fine
     arts that have fled from them, the country for citizens, the fields
     for cultivators, religion for forms of worship, and Nature for
     beings of which she is worthy.

Five years after these words were written the countryside of France was
desolate, art and commerce were destroyed, and women following the
tumbril that carried Fouquier-Tinville to the guillotine cried out:
"Give me back my brother, my son, my husband!" So was this amazing
prophecy fulfilled. Yet not one word has history to say on the subject!
The warning of de Luchet has fallen on deaf ears amongst posterity as
amongst the men of his own day.

De Luchet himself recognizes the obstacle to his obtaining a hearing:
there are too many "passions interested in supporting the system of the
Illumines," too many deluded rulers imagining themselves enlightened
ready to precipitate their people into the abyss, whilst "the heads of
the Order will never relinquish the authority they have acquired nor the
treasure at their disposal." In vain de Luchet appeals to the Freemasons
to save their Order from the invading sect. "Would it not be possible,"
he asks, "to direct the Freemasons themselves against the Illumines by
showing them that whilst they are working to maintain harmony in
society, those others are everywhere sowing seeds of discord" and
preparing the ultimate destruction of their Order? So far it is not too
late; if only men will believe in the danger it may be averted: "from
the moment they are convinced, the necessary blow is dealt to the sect."
Otherwise de Luchet prophesies "a series of calamities of which the end
is lost in the darkness of time, ... a subterranean fire smouldering
eternally and breaking forth periodically in violent and devastating
explosions." What words could better describe the history of the last
150 years?

The _Essai sur la Sects des Illumines_ is one of the most extraordinary
documents of history and at the same time one of the most mysterious.
Why it should have been written by the Marquis de Luchet, who is said to
have collaborated with Mirabeau in the _Galerie de Portraits_ published
in the following year, why it should have been appended to Mirabeau's
_Histoire Secrete de la Cour de Berlin_, and accordingly attributed to
Mirabeau himself, why Barruel should have denounced it as dust thrown in
the eyes of the public, although it entirely corroborated his own point
of view, are questions to which I can find no reply. That is was written
seriously and in all good faith it is impossible to doubt; whilst the
fact that it appeared before, instead of after, the events described,
renders it even more valuable evidence of the reality of the conspiracy
than Barruel's own admirable work. What Barruel saw, de Luchet foresaw
with equal clearness. As to the role of Mirabeau at this crisis, we can
only hazard an explanation on the score of his habitual inconsistency.
At one moment he was seeking interviews with the King's ministers in
order to warn them of the coming danger, at the next he was
energetically stirring up insurrection. It is therefore not impossible
that he may have encouraged de Luchet's exposure of the conspiracy,
although meanwhile he himself had entered into the scheme of
destruction. Indeed, according to a pamphlet published in 1791 entitled
_Mysteres de la Conspiration_,[615] the whole plan of revolution was
found amongst his papers. The editor of this _brochure_ explains that
the document here made public, called _Croquis ou Projet de Revolution
de Monsieur de Mirabeau_, was seized at the house of Madame Lejai, the
wife of Mirabeau's publisher, on October 6, 1789. Beginning with a
diatribe against the French monarchy, the document goes on to say that
"in order to triumph over this hydra-headed monster these are my ideas":

     We must overthrow all order, suppress all laws, annul all power,
     and leave the people in anarchy. The laws we establish will not
     perhaps be in force at once, but at any rate, having given back the
     power to the people, they will resist for the sake of their liberty
     which they will believe they are preserving. We must caress their
     vanity, flatter their hopes, promise them happiness after our work
     has been in operation; we must elude their caprices and their
     systems at will, for the people as legislators are very dangerous,
     they only establish laws which coincide with their passions, their
     want of knowledge would besides only give birth to abuses. But as
     the people are a lever which legislators can move at their will, we
     must necessarily use them as a support, and render hateful to them
     everything we wish to destroy and sow illusions in their path; we
     must also buy all the mercenary pens which propagate our methods
     and which will instruct the people concerning their enemies whom we
     attack. The clergy, being the most powerful through public opinion,
     can only be destroyed by ridiculing religion, rendering its
     ministers odious, and only representing them as hypocritical
     monsters, for Mahomet in order to establish his religion first
     defamed the paganism which the Arabs, the Sarmathes, and the
     Scythians professed. Libels must at every moment show fresh traces
     of hatred against the clergy. To exaggerate their riches, to make
     the sins of an individual appear to be common to all, to attribute
     to them all vices; calumny, murder, irreligion, sacrilege, all is
     permitted in times of revolution.

     We must degrade the _noblesse_ and attribute it to an odious
     origin, establish a germ of equality which can never exist but
     which will flatter the people; [we must] immolate the most
     obstinate, burn and destroy their property in order to intimidate
     the rest, so that if we cannot entirely destroy this prejudice we
     can weaken it and the people will avenge their vanity and their
     jealousy by all the excesses which will bring them to submission.

After describing how the soldiers are to be seduced from their
allegiance, and the magistrates represented to the people as despots,
"since the people, brutal and ignorant, only see the evil and never the
good of things," the writer explains they must be given only limited
power in the municipalities.

     Let us beware above all of giving them too much force; their
     despotism is too dangerous, we must flatter the people by
     gratuitous justice, promise them a great diminution in taxes and a
     more equal division, more extension in fortunes, and less
     humiliation. These phantasies [_vertiges_] will fanaticise the
     people, who will flatten out all resistance. What matter the
     victims and their numbers? spoliations, destructions, burnings, and
     all the necessary effects of a revolution? nothing must be sacred
     and we can say with Machiavelli: "What matter the means as long as
     one arrives at the end?"

Were all these the ideas of Mirabeau, or were they, like the other
document of the Illuminati found amongst his papers, the programme of a
conspiracy? I incline to the latter theory. The plan of campaign was, at
any rate, the one followed out by the conspirators, as Chamfort, the
friend and confidant of Mirabeau, admitted in his conversation with

     The nation is a great herd that only thinks of browsing, and with
     good sheepdogs the shepherds can lead it as they please.... Money
     and the hope of plunder are all-powerful with the people....
     Mirabeau cheerfully asserts that with 100 louis one can make quite
     a good riot.[616]

Another contemporary thus describes the methods of the leaders:

     Mirabeau, in the exuberance of an orgy, cried one day: "That
     _canaille_ well deserves to have us for legislators!" These
     professions of faith, as we see, are not at all democratic; the
     sect uses the populace as revolution fodder [_chair a revolution_],
     as prime material for brigandage, after which it seizes the gold
     and abandons generations to torture. It is veritably the code of

It is this "code of hell" set forth in the "Projet de Revolution" that
we shall find repeated in succeeding documents throughout the last
hundred years--in the correspondence of the "Alta Vendita," in the
_Dialogues aux Enfers entre Machiavel et Montesquieu_ by Maurice Joly,
in the Revolutionary Catechism of Bakunin, in the Protocols of the
Elders of Zion, and in the writings of the Russian Bolsheviks to-day.

Whatever doubts may be cast on the authenticity of any of these
documents, the indisputable fact thus remains that as early as 1789 this
Machiavellian plan of engineering revolution and using the people as a
lever for raising a tyrannical minority to power, had been formulated;
further, that the methods described in this earliest "Protocol" have
been carried out according to plan from that day to this. And in every
outbreak of the social revolution the authors of the movement have been
known to be connected with secret societies.

It was Adrien Duport, author of the "Great Fear" that spread over France
on July 22, 1789, Duport, the inner initiate of the secret societies,
"holding in his hands all the threads of the masonic conspiracy," who on
May 21, 1790, set forth before the Committee of Propaganda the vast
scheme of destruction.

     M. de Mirabeau has well established the fact that the fortunate
     revolution which has taken place in France must and will be for all
     the peoples of Europe the awakening of liberty and for Kings the
     sleep of death.

But Duport goes on to explain that whilst Mirabeau thinks it advisable
at present not to concern themselves with anything outside France, he
himself believes that the triumph of the French Revolution must lead
inevitably to "the ruin of all thrones ... Therefore we must hasten
among our neighbours the same revolution that is going on in France."[618]

The plan of illuminized Freemasonry was thus nothing less than

It is necessary here to reply to a critic who suggested that in
emphasizing the role of the secret societies in _World Revolution_ I had
abandoned my former thesis of the Orleaniste conspiracy. I wish
therefore to state that I do not retract one word I wrote in _The French
Revolution_ on the Orleaniste conspiracy, I merely supply a further
explanation of its efficiency by enlarging on the aid it received from
the party I referred to as the Subversives--outcome of the masonic
lodges. It was because the Orleanistes held the whole masonic
organization at their disposal that they were able to carry out their
plans with such extraordinary skill and thoroughness, and because they
had at their back men bent solely on destruction that they could enlist
a following which would not have rallied to a mere scheme of usurpation.
Even Montjoie, who saw in the Revolution principally the work of the Duc
d'Orleans, indicates in a very curious passage of a later work the
existence of the still darker intrigue behind the conspiracy he had
spent his energies in unveiling:

     I will not examine whether this wicked prince, thinking he was
     acting in his personal interests, was not moved by that invisible
     hand which seems to have created all the events of our revolution
     in order to lead us towards a goal that we do not see at present,
     but which I think we shall see before long.[619]

Unfortunately, after this mysterious utterance Montjoie never again
returns to the subject.

At the beginning of the Revolution, Orleanism and Freemasonry thus
formed a united body. According to Lombard de Langres:

     France in 1789 counted more than 2,000 lodges affiliated to the
     Grand Orient; the number of adepts was more than 100,000. The first
     events of 1789 were only Masonry in action. All the revolutionaries
     of the Constituent Assembly were initiated into the third degree.
     We place in this class the Duc d'Orleans, Valence, Syllery, Laclos,
     Sieyes, Petion, Menou, Biron, Montesquieu, Fauchet, Condorcet,
     Lafayette, Mirabeau, Garat, Rabaud, Dubois-Crance, Thiebaud,
     Larochefoucauld, and others.[620]

Amongst these others were not only the Brissotins, who formed the
nucleus of the Girondin party, but the men of the Terror--Marat,
Robespierre, Danton, and Desmoulins.

It was these fiercer elements, true disciples of the Illuminati, who
were to sweep away the visionary Masons dreaming of equality and
brotherhood. Following the precedent set by Weishaupt, classical
pseudonyms were adopted by these leaders of the Jacobins, thus Chaumette
was known as Anaxagoras, Clootz as Anacharsis, Danton as Horace, Lacroix
as Publicola, and Ronsin as Scaevola[621]; again, after the manner of
the Illuminati, the names of towns were changed and a revolutionary
calendar was adopted. The red cap and loose hair affected by the
Jacobins appear also to have been foreshadowed in the lodges of the

Yet faithfully as the Terrorists carried out the plan of the Illuminati,
it would seem that they themselves were not initiated into the innermost
secrets of the conspiracy. Behind the Convention, behind the clubs,
behind the Revolutionary Tribunal, there existed, says Lombard de
Langres, that "most secret convention [_convention secretissime_] which
directed everything after May 31, an occult and terrible power of which
the other Convention became the slave and which was composed of the
prime initiates of Illuminism. This power was above Robespierre and the
committees of the government, ... it was this occult power which
appropriated to itself the treasures of the nation and distributed them
to the brothers and friends who had helped on the great work."[623]

What was the aim of this occult power? Was it merely the plan of
destruction that had originated in the brain of a Bavarian professor
twenty years earlier, or was it something far older, a live and terrible
force that had lain dormant through the centuries, that Weishaupt and
his allies had not created but only loosed upon the world? The Reign of
Terror, like the outbreak of Satanism in the Middle Ages, can be
explained by no material causes--the orgy of hatred, lust, and cruelty
directed not only against the rich but still more against the poor and
defenceless, the destruction of science, art, and beauty, the
desecration of the churches, the organized campaign against all that was
noble, all that was sacred, all that humanity holds dear, what was this
but Satanism?

In desecrating the churches and stamping on the crucifixes the Jacobins
had in fact followed the precise formula of black magic: "For the
purpose of infernal evocation ... it is requisite ... to profane the
ceremonies of the religion to which one belongs and to trample its
holiest symbols under foot."[624] It was this that formed the prelude
to the "Great Terror," when, to those who lived through it, it seemed
that France lay under the sway of the powers of darkness.

So in the "great shipwreck of civilization," as a contemporary has
described it, the projects of the Cabalists, the Gnostics, and the
secret societies which for nearly eighteen centuries had sapped the
foundations of Christianity found their fulfilment. Do we not detect an
echo of the Toledot Yeshu in the blasphemies of the Marquis de Sade
concerning "the Jewish slave" and "the adulterous woman, the courtesan
of Galilee?" And in the imprecations of Marat's worshippers, "Christ was
a false prophet!" a repetition of the secret doctrine attributed to the
Templars: "Jesus is not the true God; He is a false prophet; He was not
crucified for the salvation of humanity, but for His own misdeeds"? Are
these resemblances accidental, or are they the outcome of a continuous
plot against the Christian faith?

What, then, was the role of Jews in the Revolution? In this connexion it
is necessary to understand the situation of the Jews in France at this

After the decree of banishment issued by Charles VI in 1394, Jewry, as a
body, had ceased to exist; but towards the end of the fifteenth century
a certain number of Jews, driven out of Spain and Portugal, were allowed
to settle in Bordeaux. These Spanish and Portuguese Jews, known as
_Sephardim_, appeared to acquiesce in the Christian religion and were
not officially regarded as Jews, but enjoyed considerable privileges
conferred on them by Henri II. It was not until the beginning of the
eighteenth century, during the Regency, that Jews began to reappear in
Paris. Meanwhile, the annexation of Alsace at the end of the previous
century had added to the population of France the German Jews of that
province known as the _Ashkenazim_.

It is important to distinguish between these two races of Jews in
discussing the question of Jewish emancipation at the time of the
Revolution. For whilst the Sephardim had shown themselves good citizens
and were therefore subject to no persecutions, the Ashkenazim by their
extortionate usury and oppressions had made themselves detested by the
people, so that rigorous laws were enforced to restrain their rapacity.
The discussions that raged in the National Assembly on the subject of
the Jewish question related therefore mainly to the Jews of Alsace.
Already, in 1784, the Jews of Bordeaux had been accorded further
concessions by Louis XVI; in 1776 all Portuguese Jews had been given
religious liberty and the permission to inhabit all parts of the
kingdom. The decree of January 28, 1790, conferring on the Jews of
Bordeaux the rights of French citizens, put the finishing touch to this
scheme of liberation. But the proposal to extend this privilege to the
Jews of Alsace evoked a storm of controversy in the Assembly and also
violent insurrections amongst the Alsatian peasants. It was thus on
behalf of the people that several deputies protested against the decree.
"The Jews," said the Abbe Maury, "have traversed seventeen centuries
without mingling with other nations. They have never done anything but
trade with money, they have been the scourge of agricultural provinces,
not one of them has known how to ennoble his hands by guiding the
plough." And he went on to point out that the Jews "must not be
persecuted, they must be protected as individuals and not as Frenchmen,
since they cannot be citizens.... Whatever you do, they will always
remain foreigners in our midst."

Monseigneur de la Fare, Bishop of Nancy, adopted the same line of

     They must be accorded protection, safety, liberty; but should we
     admit into the family a tribe that is foreign to it, that turns its
     eyes unceasingly towards a common country, that aspires to abandon
     the land that bears it?... My _cahier_ orders me to protest against
     the motion that has been made to you. The interest of the Jews
     themselves necessitates this protest. The people have a horror of
     them; they are often in Alsace the victims of popular risings.[625]

In all this, as will be seen, there is no question of persecution, but
of precautions against a race that wilfully isolates itself from the
rest of the community in order to pursue its own interests and
advantages. The Jews of Bordeaux indeed recognized the odium that the
German Jews were calculated to bring on the Jewish cause, and in an
address to the Assembly on January 22, 1790, dissociated themselves from
the aggressive claims of the Ashkenazim:

     We dare to believe that our condition in France would not to-day be
     open to discussion if certain demands of the Jews of Alsace,
     Lorraine, and the Trois Eveches [i.e. Metz, Toul, and Verdun] had
     not caused a confusion of ideas which appears to reflect on us. We
     do not yet know exactly what these demands are, but to judge by the
     public papers they appear to be rather extraordinary since these
     Jews aspire to live in France under a special regime, to have laws
     peculiar to themselves, and to constitute a class of citizens
     separated from all the others.

     As for us, our condition in France has long since been settled. We
     have been naturalized French since 1550; we possess all kinds of
     properties, and we enjoy the unlimited right to acquire estates. We
     have neither laws, tribunals, nor officers of our own[626]

In adopting this attitude the Sephardim created a precedent which, if it
had been followed henceforth consistently by their co-religionists,
might have gone far to allay prejudice against the Jewish race. It was
the solidarity generally presented by the Jews towards the rest of the
community which excited alarm in the minds of French citizens. Thirty
years earlier the merchants of Paris, in a petition against the
admission of the Jews to their corporations, indicated by an admirable
simile the danger this solidarity offered to free commerce.

     The French merchant carries on his commerce alone; each commercial
     house is in a way isolated, whilst the Jews are particles of
     quicksilver, which at the least slant run together into a

But in spite of all protests, the decree emancipating the Jews of Alsace
was passed in September 1791, and hymns of praise were sung in the

What part was actually played by the Jews in the tumults of the
Revolution it is impossible to determine, for the reason that they are
seldom designated as such in the writings of contemporaries. On this
point Jewish writers appear to be better informed than the rest of the
world, for Monsieur Leon Kahn in his panegyric on the part played by his
co-religionists in the Revolution[628] finds Jews where even Drumont
failed to detect them. Thus we read that it was a Jew, Rosenthal, who
headed the legion known by his name, which was sent against La Vendee
but took to flight,[629] and which was the subject of complaint when
employed to guard the Royal Family at the Temple[630]; that amongst
those who worked most energetically to deprive the clergy of their goods
was a Jewish ex-old-clothes seller, Zalkind Hourwitz; that it was a Jew
named Lang who murdered three out of the five Swiss guards at the foot
of the staircase in the Tuileries on August 10[631]; that Jews were
implicated in the theft of the crown jewels on September 16, 1792, and
one named Lyre was executed in consequence; that it was Clootz and the
Jew Pereyra, and not, as I had stated, Hebert, Chaumette, and Momoro,
who went to the Archbishop Gobel in November 1793 and induced him by
means of threats to abjure the Christian faith.[632]

All these facts were unknown to me when I wrote my account of these
events; it will be seen then that, far from exaggerating the role of the
Jews in _The French Revolution_, I very much underrated it. Indeed the
question of their complicity had not occurred to me at all when I wrote
this book, and the only Jew to whom I referred was Ephraim--sent to
France by the Illuminati Frederick William II and Bischoffswerder--whom
M. Kahn indicates as playing an even more important part than I had
assigned to him.

But illuminating as these incidents may be, it is yet open to question
whether they prove any concerted attempt on the part of the Jews to
bring about the overthrow of the French monarchy and the Catholic
religion. It is true, nevertheless, that they themselves boasted of
their revolutionary ardour. In an address presenting their claims before
the National Assembly in 1789, they declare:

     Regenerators of the French Empire, you would not wish that we
     should cease to be citizens, since for already six months we have
     assiduously performed all duties as such, and the recompense for
     the zeal we have shown in accelerating the revolution will not be
     to condemn us to participate in none of its advantages now that it
     has been consummated.... Nosseigneurs, we are all very good
     citizens, and in this memorable revolution we dare to say that
     there is not one of us who has not proved himself.[633]

In all these activities, however, religious feeling appears to have
played an entirely subordinate part; the Jews, as has been said, were
free before the Revolution to carry on the rites of their faith. And
when the great anti-religious campaign began, many of them entered
whole-heartedly into the attack on all religious faiths, their own
included. Thus on the 21st Brumaire, whilst the Feasts of Reason were
taking place in the churches of Paris, we find "a deputation of
Israelites" presenting themselves at the National Assembly and
"depositing on the bosom of the Mountain the ornaments of which they had
stripped a little temple they had in the Faubourg Saint-Germain." At the
same moment--

     A revolutionary committee of the Reunion brings to the general
     council crosses, suns, chalices, copes, and quantities of other
     ornaments of worship, and a member of this committee observes that
     several of these effects belong to individuals of the Jewish race.
     A minister of the religion of Moses, Abraham, and Jacob asks in the
     name of his co-religionists that the said effects should not be
     regarded as belonging to such and such a sect, ... this citizen is
     named Benjamin Jacob.... Another member of the same committee pays
     homage to the patriotic zeal of the citizens heretofore Jews, ...
     almost all have forestalled the wish of the revolutionary committee
     by themselves bringing their reliquaries and ornaments, amongst
     others the famous cope said to have belonged to Moses.[634]

On the 20th Frimaire at "the Temple of Liberty," formerly the church of
the Benedictines, "the citizen Alexandre Lambert _fils_, a Jew brought
up in the prejudices of the Jewish religion," uttered a violent harangue
against all religions:

     I will prove to you, citizens, that all forms of worship are
     impostures equally degrading to man and to divinities; I will not
     prove it by philosophy, I do not know it, but only by the light of

After denouncing the iniquities of both the Catholic and Protestant
faiths, Lambert demonstrates "the absurdities of the Jewish religion,
of this domineering religion"; he thunders against Moses "governing a
simple and agrarian people like all clever impostors," against "the
servile respect of the Jews for their kings ... the ablutions of women,"
etc. Finally he declares:

     The bad faith, citizens, of which the Jewish nation is accused does
     not come from themselves but from their priests. Their religion,
     which would allow them only to lend to those of their nation at 5
     per cent., tells them to take all they can from Catholics; it is
     even hallowed as a custom in our morning prayers to solicit God's
     help in catching out a Christian. There is more, citizens, and it
     is the climax of abomination: if any mistake is made in commerce
     between Jews, they are ordered to make reparation; but if on 100
     louis a Christian should have paid 25 too much, one is not bound to
     return them to him. What an abomination! What a horror! And where
     does that all come from but from the Rabbis? Who have excited
     proscriptions against us? Our priests! Ah, citizens, more than
     anything in the world we must abjure a religion which, ... by
     subjecting us to irksome and servile practices, makes it impossible
     for us to be good citizens.[635]

The encouragement accorded by the Jews to the French Revolution appears
thus to have been prompted not by religious fanaticism but by a desire
for national advantage. That they gained immensely by the overthrow of
the Old Order is undeniable, for apart from the legislation passed on
their behalf in the National Assembly, the disorder of the finances in
1796 was such that, as M. Leon Kahn tells us, a contemporary journal
enquired: "Has the Revolution then been only a financial scheme? a
speculation of bankers?"[636] We know from Prudhomme to what race the
financiers who principally profited by this disorder belonged.[637]

But if the role of the Jews in the Revolution remains obscure there can
be no doubt of the part played by the secret societies in the revolt
against all religion, all moral laws, and social order, which had been
reduced to a system in the councils of the Illuminati.

It was this conspiracy that reasserted itself in the Babouviste rising
of 1796 which was directly inspired by the secret societies. After the
death of Babeuf, his friend and inspirer Buonarotti with the aid of
Marat's brother founded a masonic lodge, the _Amis Sinceres_, which was
affiliated to the _Philadelphes_, at Geneva, and as "Diacre Mobile" of
the "Order of Sublime and Perfect Masons" created three new secret
degrees, in which the device of the Rose-Croix I.N.R.I. was interpreted
as signifying "Justum necare reges injustos."[638]

The part to be assigned to each intrigue in preparing the world-movement
of which the French Revolution was the first expression is a question on
which no one can speak with certainty. But, as at the present moment,
the composite nature of this movement must never be lost to sight.
Largely perhaps the work of Frederick the Great, it is probable that but
for the Orleanistes the plot against the French monarchy might have come
to nought; whilst again, but for his position at the head of illuminized
Freemasonry it is doubtful whether the Duc d'Orleans could have
commanded the forces of revolution. Further, how far the movement,
which, like the modern Bolshevist conspiracy, appears to have had
unlimited funds at its disposal, was financed by the Jews yet remains to
be discovered. Hitherto only the first steps have been taken towards
elucidating the truth about the French Revolution.

In the opinion of an early nineteenth-century writer the sect which
engineered the French Revolution was absolutely international:

     The authors of the Revolution are not more French than German,
     Italian, English, etc. They form a particular nation which took
     birth and has grown in the darkness, in the midst of all civilized
     nations, with the object of subjecting them to its domination.[639]

It is curious to find almost precisely the same idea expressed by the
Duke of Brunswick, formerly the "Eques a Victoria" of the Stricte
Observance, "Aaron" of the Illuminati, and Grand Master of German
Freemasonry, who, whether because the Revolution had done its work in
destroying the French monarchy and now threatened the security of
Germany, or whether because he was genuinely disillusioned in the Orders
to which he had belonged, issued a Manifesto to all the lodges in 1794,
declaring that in view of the way in which Masonry had been penetrated
by this great sect the whole Order must be temporarily suppressed. It is
essential to quote a part of this important document verbatim:

     Amidst the universal storm produced by the present revolutions in
     the political and moral world, at this period of supreme
     illumination and of profound blindness, it would be a crime against
     truth and humanity to leave any longer shrouded in a veil things
     that can provide the only key to past and future events, things
     that should show to thousands of men whether the path they have
     been made to follow is the path of folly or of wisdom. It has to do
     with you, VV. FF. of all degrees and of all secret systems. The
     curtain must at last be drawn aside, so that your blinded eyes may
     see that light you have ever sought in vain, but of which you have
     only caught a few deceptive rays....

     We have raised our building under the wings of darkness; ... the
     darkness is dispelled, and a light more terrifying than darkness
     itself strikes suddenly on our sight. We see our edifice crumbling
     and covering the ground with ruins; we see destruction that our
     hands can no longer arrest. And that is why we send away the
     builders from their workshops. With a last blow of the hammer we
     overthrow the columns of salaries. We leave the temple deserted,
     and we bequeath it as a great work to posterity which shall raise
     it again on its ruins and bring it to completion.

Brunswick then goes on to explain what has brought about the ruin of the
Order, namely, the infiltration of Freemasonry by secret conspirators:

     A great sect arose which, taking for its motto the good and the
     happiness of man, worked in the darkness of the conspiracy to make
     the happiness of humanity a prey for itself. This sect is known to
     everyone: its brothers are known no less than its name. It is they
     who have undermined the foundations of the Order to the point of
     complete overthrow; it is by them that all humanity has been
     poisoned and led astray for several generations. The ferment that
     reigns amongst the peoples is their work. They founded the plans of
     their insatiable ambition on the political pride of nations. Their
     founders arranged to introduce this pride into the heads of the
     peoples. They began by casting odium on religion.... They invented
     the rights of man which it is impossible to discover even in the
     book of Nature, and they urged the people to wrest from their
     princes the recognition of these supposed rights. The plan they had
     formed for breaking all social ties and of destroying all order was
     revealed in all their speeches and acts. They deluged the world
     with a multitude of publications; they recruited apprentices of
     every rank and in every position; they deluded the most
     perspicacious men by falsely alleging different intentions. They
     sowed in the hearts of youth the seed of covetousness, and they
     excited it with the bait of the most insatiable passions.
     Indomitable pride, thirst of power, such were the only motives of
     this sect: their masters had nothing less in view than the thrones
     of the earth, and the government of the nations was to be directed
     by their nocturnal clubs.

     This is what has been done and is still being done. But we notice
     that princes and people are unaware how and by what means this is
     being accomplished. That is why we say to them in all frankness:
     The misuse of our Order, the misunderstanding of our secret, has
     produced all the political and moral troubles with which the world
     is filled to-day. You who have been initiated, you must join
     yourselves with us in raising your voices, so as to teach peoples
     and princes that the sectarians, the apostates of our Order, have
     alone been and will be the authors of present and future
     revolutions. We must assure princes and peoples, on our honour and
     our duty, that our association is in no way guilty of these evils.
     But in order that our attestations should have force and merit
     belief, we must make for princes and people a complete sacrifice;
     so as to cut out to the roots the abuse and error, we must from
     this moment dissolve the whole Order. This is why we destroy and
     annihilate it completely for the time; we will preserve the
     foundations for posterity, which will clear them when humanity, in
     better times, can derive some benefit from our holy alliance.[640]

Thus, in the opinion of the Grand Master of German Freemasonry, a secret
sect working within Freemasonry had brought about the French Revolution
and would be the cause of all future revolutions. We shall now pursue
the course of this sect after the first upheaval had ended.

Three years after the Duke of Brunswick issued his Manifesto to the
lodges, the books of Barruel, Robison, and others appeared, laying bare
the whole conspiracy. It has been said that all these books "fell
flat."[641] This is directly contrary to the truth. Barruel's book went
into no less than eight editions, and I have described elsewhere the
alarm that his work and Robison's excited in America. In England they
led to the very tangible result that a law was passed by the English
Parliament in 1799 prohibiting all secret societies with the exception
of Freemasonry.

It is evident, then, that the British Government recognized the
continued existence of these associations and the danger they presented
to the world. This fact should be borne in mind when we are assured that
Barruel and Robison had conjured up a bogey which met with no serious
attention from responsible men. For the main purpose of Barruel's book
is to show that not only had Illuminism and Grand Orient Masonry
contributed largely to the French Revolution, but that three years after
that first explosion they were still as active as ever. This is the
great point which the champions of the "bogey" theory are most anxious
to refute. "The Bavarian Order of the Illuminati," wrote Mr. Waite, "was
founded by Adam Weishaupt in 1776, and it was suppressed by the Elector
of Bavaria in 1789.... Those who say that 'it was continued in more
secret forms' have never produced one item of real evidence."[642] Now,
as we have seen, the Illuminati were not suppressed by the Elector of
Bavaria in 1789, but in 1786--first error of Mr. Waite. But more
extraordinary confusion of mind is displayed in his _Encyclopaedia of
Freemasonry_, where, in a Masonic Chronology, he gives, this time under
the date of 1784, "Suppression of the Illuminati," but under 1793:
"J.J.C. Bode joined the Illuminati under Weishaupt." At a matter of
fact, this was the year Bode died. These examples will serve to show the
reliance that can be placed on Mr. Waite's statement concerning the

We shall now see that not only the Illuminati but Weishaupt himself
still continued to intrigue long after the French Revolution had ended.

Directly the Reign of Terror was over, the masonic lodges, which during
the Revolution had been replaced by the clubs, began to reopen, and by
the beginning of the nineteenth century were in a more flourishing
condition than ever before. "It was the most brilliant epoch of
Masonry," wrote the Freemason Bazot in his History of Freemasonry.
Nearly 1,200 lodges existed in France under the Empire; generals,
magistrates, artists, savants, and notabilities in every line were
initiated into the Order.[643] The most eminent of these was Prince
Cambaceres, pro Grand Master of the Grand Orient.

It is in the midst of this period that we find Weishaupt once more at
work behind the scenes of Freemasonry. Thus in the remarkable masonic
correspondence published by M. Benjamin Fabre in his _Eques a Capite
Galeato_--of which, as has already been pointed out, the authenticity is
admitted by eminent British Freemasons--a letter is reproduced from
Pyron, representative in Paris of the Grand Orient of Italy, to the
Marquis de Chefdebien, dated September 9, 1808, in which it is stated
that "a member of the sect of Bav." has asked for information on a
certain point of ritual.

On December 29, 1808, Pyron writes again: "By the words 'sect of B....'
I meant W...."; and on December 3, 1809, puts the matter quite plainly:
"The other word remaining at the end of my pen refers enigmatically to

So, as M. Fabre points out:

     There is no longer any doubt that it is a question here of
     Weishaupt, and yet one observes that his name is not yet written in
     all its letters. It must be admitted here that Pyron took great
     precautions when it was a matter of Weishaupt! And one is led to
     ask what could be the extraordinary importance of the role played
     at this moment in the Freemasonry of the First Empire by this
     Weishaupt, who was supposed to have been outside the masonic
     movement since Illuminism was brought to trial in 1786![644]

But the Marquis de Chefdebien entertained no illusions about Weishaupt,
whose intrigues he had always opposed, and in a letter dated May 12,
1806, to the Freemason Roettiers, who had referred to the danger of
isolated masonic lodges, he asks:

     In good faith, very reverend brother, is it in isolated lodges that
     the atrocious conspiracy of Philippe [the Duc d'Orleans] and
     Robespierre was formed? Is it from isolated lodges that those
     prominent men came forth, who, assembled at the Hotel de Ville,
     stirred up revolt, devastation, assassination? And is it not in the
     lodges bound together, co-and sub-ordinated, that the monster
     Weishaupt established his tests and had his horrible principles

If, then, as M. Gustave Bord asserts, the Marquis de Chefdebien had
himself belonged to the Illuminati before the Revolution, here is indeed
Illuminist evidence in support of Barruel! Yet disillusioned as the
"Eques a Capite Galeato" appears to have been with regard to Illuminism,
he still retained his allegiance to Freemasonry. This would tend to
prove that, however subversive the doctrines of the Grand Orient may
have been--and indeed undoubtedly were--it was not Freemasonry itself
but Illuminism which organized the movement of which the French
Revolution was the first manifestation. As Monsignor Dillon has
expressed it:

     Had Weishaupt not lived, Masonry might have ceased to be a power
     after the reaction consequent on the French Revolution. He gave it
     a form and character which caused it to outlive that reaction, to
     energize to the present day, and which will cause it to advance
     until its final conflict with Christianity must determine whether
     Christ or Satan shall reign on this earth to the end.[646]

If to the word Masonry we add Grand Orient--that is to say, the Masonry
not of Great Britain, but of the Continent--we shall be still nearer to
the truth.

In the early part of the nineteenth century Illuminism was thus as much
alive as ever. Joseph de Maistre, writing at this period, constantly
refers to the danger it presents to Europe. Is it not also to Illuminism
that a mysterious passage in a recent work of M. Lenotre refers? In the
course of conversation with the friends of the false Dauphin Hervagault.
Monsignor de Savine is said to have "made allusions in prudent and
almost terrified terms to some international sect ... a power superior
to all others ... which has arms and eyes everywhere and which governs
Europe to-day."[647]

When in _World Revolution_ I asserted that during the period that
Napoleon held the reins of power the devastating fire of Illuminism was
temporarily extinguished, I wrote without knowledge of some important
documents which prove that Illuminism continued without break from the
date of its foundation all through the period of the Empire. So far,
then, from overstating the case by saying that Illuminism did not cease
in 1786, I understated it by suggesting that it ceased even for this
brief interval. The documents in which this evidence is to be found are
referred to by Lombard de Langres, who, writing in 1820, observes that
the Jacobins were invisible from the 18th Brumaire until 1813, and goes
on to say:

     Here the sect disappears; we find to guide us during this period
     only uncertain notions, scattered fragments; the plots of
     Illuminism lie buried in the boxes of the Imperial police.

But the contents of these boxes no longer lie buried; transported to the
Archives Nationales, the documents in which the intrigues of Illuminism
are laid bare have at last been given to the public. Here there can be
no question of imaginative abbes, Scotch professors, or American divines
conjuring up a bogey to alarm the world; these dry official reports
prepared for the vigilant eye of the Emperor, never intended and never
used for publication, relate calmly and dispassionately what the writers
have themselves heard and observed concerning the danger that Illuminism
presents to all forms of settled government.

The author of the most detailed report[648] is one Francois Charles de
Berckheim, special commissioner of police at Mayence towards the end of
the Empire, who as a Freemason is naturally not disposed to prejudice
against secret societies. In October 1810 he writes, however, that his
attention has been drawn to the Illuminati by a pamphlet which has just
fallen into his hands, namely the _Essai sur la Secte des Illumines_,
which, like many contemporaries, he attributes originally to Mirabeau.
He then goes on to ask whether the sect still exists, and if so whether
it is indeed "an association of frightful scoundrels who aim, as
Mirabeau assures us, at the overthrow of all law and all morality, at
replacing virtue by crime in every act of human life." Further, he asks
whether both sects of _Illumines_ have now combined in one and what are
their present projects. Conversations with other Freemasons further
increase Berckheim's anxiety on the subject; one of the best informed
observes to him: "I know a great deal, enough at any rate to be
convinced that the _Illumines_ have vowed the overthrow of monarchic
governments and of all authority on the same basis."

Berckheim thereupon sets out to make enquiries, with the result that he
is able to state that the _Illumines_ have initiates all over Europe,
that they have spared no efforts to introduce their principles into the
lodges, and "to spread a doctrine subversive of all settled government
... under the pretext of the regeneration of social morality and the
amelioration of the lot and condition of men by means of laws founded on
principles and sentiments unknown hitherto and contained only in the
heads of the leaders." "Illuminism," he declares, "is becoming a great
and formidable power, and I fear, in my conscience, that kings and
peoples will have much to suffer from it unless foresight and prudence
break its frightful mechanism [_ses affreux restorts_]."

Two years later, on January 16, 1813, Berckheim writes again to the
Minister of Police:

     Monseigneur, they write to me from Heidelberg ... that a great
     number of initiates into the mysteries of Illuminism are to be
     found there.

     These gentlemen wear as a sign of recognition a gold ring on the
     third finger of the left hand; on the back of this ring there is a
     little rose, in the middle of this rose is an almost imperceptible
     dint; by pressing this with the point of a pin one touches a
     spring, by this means the two gold circles are detached. On the
     inside of the first of these circles is the device: "Be German as
     you ought to be"; on the inside of the second of these circles are
     engraved the words "Pro Patria."

Subversive as the ideas of the Illuminati might be, they were therefore
not subversive of German patriotism. We shall find this apparent paradox
running all through the Illuminist movement to the present day.

In 1814 Berckheim drew up his great report on the secret societies of
Germany, which is of so much importance in throwing a light on the
workings of the modern revolutionary movement, that extracts must be
given here at length.[649] His testimony gains greater weight from the
vagueness he displays on the origins of Illuminism and the role it had
played before the French Revolution; it is evident, therefore, that he
had not taken his ideas from Robison or Barruel--to whom he never once
refers--but from information gleaned on the spot in Germany. The opening
paragraphs finally refute the fallacy concerning the extinction of the
sect in 1786.

     The oldest and most dangerous association is that which is
     generally known under the denomination of the _Illumines_ and of
     which the foundation goes back towards the middle of the last

     Bavaria was its cradle; it is said that it had for founders several
     chiefs of the Order of the Jesuits; but this opinion, advanced
     perhaps at random, is founded only on uncertain premises; in any
     case, in a short time it made rapid progress, and the Bavarian
     Government recognized the necessity of employing methods of
     repression against it and even of driving away several of the
     principal sectaries.

     But it could not eradicate the germ of the evil. The _Illumines_
     who remained in Bavaria, obliged to wrap themselves in darkness so
     as to escape the eye of authority, became only the more formidable:
     the rigorous measures of which they were the object, adorned by the
     title of persecution, gained them new proselytes, whilst the
     banished members went to carry the principles of the Association
     into other States.

     Thus in a few years Illuminism multiplied its hotbeds all through
     the south of Germany, and as a consequence in Saxony, in Prussia,
     in Sweden, and even in Russia.

     The reveries of the Pietists have long been confounded with those
     of the Illumines. This error may arise from the denomination of the
     sect, which at first suggests the idea of a purely religious
     fanaticism and of mystic forms which it was obliged to take at its
     birth in order to conceal its principles and projects; but the
     Association always had a political tendency. If it still retains
     some mystic traits, it is in order to support itself at need by the
     power of religious fanaticism, and we shall see in what follows how
     well it knows to turn this to account.

     The doctrine of Illuminism is subversive of every kind of monarchy;
     unlimited liberty, absolute levelling down, such is the fundamental
     dogma of the sect; to break the ties that bind the Sovereign to the
     citizen of a state, that is the object of all its efforts.

     No doubt some of the principal chiefs, amongst whom are numbered
     men distinguished for their fortune, their birth, and the dignities
     with which they are invested, are not the dupes of these demagogic
     dreams: they hope to find in the popular emotions they stir up the
     means of seizing the reigns of power, or at any rate of increasing
     their wealth and their credit; but the crowd of adepts believe in
     it religiously, and, in order to reach the goal shown to them, they
     maintain incessantly a hostile attitude towards sovereigns.

     Thus the _Illumines_ hailed with enthusiasm the ideas that
     prevailed in France from 1789 to 1804. Perhaps they were not
     foreign to the intrigues which prepared the explosions of 1789 and
     the following years; but if they did not take an active part in
     these manoeuvres, it is at least beyond doubt that they openly
     applauded the systems which resulted from them; that the Republican
     armies when they penetrated into Germany found in these sectarians
     auxiliaries the more dangerous for the sovereigns of the invaded
     states in that they inspired no distrust, and we can say with
     assurance that more than one general of the Republic owed a part of
     its success to his understanding with the _Illumines_.

     It would be a mistake if one confounded Illuminism with
     Freemasonry. These two associations, in spite of the points of
     resemblance they may possess in the mystery with which they
     surround themselves, in the tests that precede initiation, and in
     other matters of form, are absolutely distinct and have no kind of
     connexion with each other. The lodges of the Scottish Rite number,
     it is true, a few _Illumines_ amongst the Masons of the higher
     degrees, but these adepts are very careful not to be known as such
     to their brothers in Masonry or to manifest ideas that would betray
     their secret.

Berckheim then goes on to describe the subtle methods by which the
Illuminati now maintain their existence; learning wisdom from the events
of 1786, their organization is carried on invisibly, so as to defy the
eye of authority:

     It was thought for a long while that the association had a Grand
     Mastership, that is to say, a centre point from which radiated all
     the impulsions given to this great body, and this primary motive
     power was sought for successively in all the capitals of the North,
     in Paris and even in Rome. This error gave birth to another opinion
     no less fallacious: it was supposed that there existed in the
     principal towns lodges where initiations were made and which
     received directly the instructions emanating from the headquarters
     of the Society.

     If such had been the organization of Illuminism, it would not so
     long have escaped the investigations of which it was the object:
     these meetings, necessarily thronged and frequent, requiring
     besides, like masonic lodges, appropriate premises, would have
     aroused the attention of magistrates: it would not have been
     difficult to introduce false brothers, who, directed and protected
     by authority, would soon have penetrated the secrets of the sect.

     This is what I have gathered most definitely on the Association of
     the _Illumines_:

     First I would point out that by the word hotbeds [foyers] I did not
     mean to designate points of meeting for the adepts, places where
     they hold assemblies, but only localities where the Association
     counts a great number of partisans, who, whilst living isolated in
     appearance, exchange ideas, have an understanding with each other,
     and advance together towards the same goal.

     The Association had, it is true, assemblies at its birth where
     receptions [i.e. initiations] took place, but the dangers which
     resulted from these made them feel the necessity of abandoning
     them. It was settled that each initiated adept should have the
     right without the help of anyone else to initiate all those who,
     after the usual tests, seemed to him worthy.

     The catechism of the sect is composed of a very small number of
     articles which might even be reduced to this single principle:

     "To arm the opinion of the peoples against sovereigns and to work
     by every method for the fall of monarchic governments in order to
     found in their place systems of absolute independence." Everything
     that can tend towards this object is in the spirit of the

     Initiations are not accompanied, as in Masonry, by phantasmagoric
     trials, ... but they are preceded by long moral tests which
     guarantee in the safest way the fidelity of the catechumen; oaths,
     a mixture of all that is most sacred in religion, threats and
     imprecations against traitors, nothing that can stagger the
     imagination is spared; but the only engagement into which the
     recipient enters is to propagate the principles with which he has
     been imbued, to maintain inviolable secrecy on all that pertains to
     the association, and to work with all his might to increase the
     number of proselytes.

     It will no doubt seem astonishing that there can be the least
     accord in the association, and that men bound together by no
     physical tie and who live at great distances from each other can
     communicate their ideas to each other, make plans of conduct, and
     give grounds of fear to Governments; but there exists an invisible
     chain which binds together all the scattered members of the
     association. Here are a few links:

     All the adepts living in the same town usually know each other,
     unless the population of the town or the number of the adepts is
     too considerable. In this last case they are divided into several
     groups, who are all in touch with each other by means of members of
     the association whom personal relations bind to two or several
     groups at a time.

     These groups are again subdivided into so many private coteries
     which the difference of rank, of fortune, of character, tastes,
     etc., may necessitate: they are always small, sometimes composed of
     five or six individuals, who meet frequently under various
     pretexts, sometimes at the house of one member, sometimes at that
     of another; literature, art, amusements of all kinds are the
     apparent object of these meetings, and it is nevertheless in these
     confabulations [_conciliabules_] that the adepts communicate their
     private views to each other, agree on methods, receive the
     directions that the intermediaries bring them, and communicate
     their own ideas to these same intermediaries, who then go on to
     propagate them in other coteries. It will be understood that there
     may be uniformity in the march of all these separated groups, and
     that one day may suffice to communicate the same impulse to all the
     quarters of a large town....

     These are the methods by which the _Illumines_, without any
     apparent organization, without settled leaders, agree together from
     the banks of the Rhine to those of the Neva, from the Baltic to the
     Dardanelles, and advance continually towards the same goal, without
     leaving any trace that might compromise the interests of the
     association or even bring suspicion on any of its members; the most
     active police would fail before such a combination....

     As the principal force of the _Illumines_ lies in the power of
     opinions, they have set themselves out from the beginning to make
     proselytes amongst the men who through their profession exercise a
     direct influence on minds, such as _litterateurs_, savants, and
     above all professors. The latter in their chairs, the former in
     their writings, propagate the principles of the sect by disguising
     the poison that they circulate under a thousand different forms.
     These germs, often imperceptible to the eyes of the vulgar, are
     afterwards developed by the adepts of the Societies they frequent,
     and the most obscure wording is thus brought to the understanding
     of the least discerning. It is above all in the Universities that
     Illuminism has always found and always will find numerous recruits.
     Those professors who belong to the Association set out from the
     first to study the character of their pupils. If a student gives
     evidence of a vigorous mind, an ardent imagination, the sectaries
     at once get hold of him, they sound in his ears the words
     Despotism--Tyranny--Rights of the People, etc., etc. Before he can
     even attach any meaning to these words, as he advances in age,
     reading chosen for him, conversations skilfully arranged, develop
     the germs deposited in his youthful brain; soon his imagination
     ferments, history, traditions of fabulous times, all are made use
     of to carry his exaltation to the highest point, and before even he
     has been told of a secret Association, to contribute to the fall of
     a sovereign appears to his eyes the noblest and most meritorious

     At last, when he has been completely captivated, when several years
     of testing guarantee to the society inviolable secrecy and absolute
     devotion, it is made known to him that millions of individuals
     distributed in all the States of Europe share his sentiments and
     his hopes, that a secret link binds firmly all the scattered
     members of this immense family, and that the reforms he desires so
     ardently must sooner or later come about.

     This propaganda is rendered the easier by the existing associations
     of students who meet together for the study of literature, for
     fencing, gaming, or even mere debauchery. The Illumines insinuate
     themselves into all these circles and turn them into hot-beds for
     the propagation of their principles.

     Such, then, is the Association's continual mode of progression from
     its origins until the present moment; it is by conveying from
     childhood the germ of poison into the highest classes of society,
     in feeding the minds of students on ideas diametrically opposed to
     that order of things under which they have to live, in breaking the
     ties that bind them to sovereigns, that Illuminism has recruited
     the largest number of adepts, called by the state to which they
     were born to be the mainstays of the Throne and of a system which
     would ensure them honours and privileges.

     Amongst the proselytes of this last class there are some no doubt
     whom political events, the favour of the prince or other
     circumstances, detach from the Association; but the number of these
     deserters is necessarily very limited: and even then they dare not
     speak openly against their old associates, whether because they are
     in dread of private vengeances or whether because, knowing the real
     power of the sect, they want to keep paths of reconciliation open
     to themselves; often indeed they are so fettered by the pledges
     they have personally given that they find it necessary not only to
     consider the interests of the sect, but to serve it indirectly,
     although their new circumstances demand the contrary....

Berckheim then proceeds to show that those writers on Illuminism were
mistaken who declared that political assassinations were definitely
commanded by the Order:

     There is more than exaggeration in this accusation; those who put
     it forward, more zealous in striking an effect than in seeking the
     truth, may have concluded, not without probability, that men who
     surrounded themselves with profound mystery, who propagated a
     doctrine absolutely subversive of any kind of monarchy, dreamt only
     of the assassination of sovereigns; but experience has shown (and
     all the documents derived from the least suspect sources confirm
     this) that the _Illumines_ count a great deal more on the power of
     opinion than on assassination; the regicide committed on Gustavus
     III is perhaps the only crime of this kind that Illuminism has
     dared to attempt, if indeed it is really proved that this crime was
     its work; moreover, if assassination had been, as it is said, the
     fundamental point in its doctrine, might we not suppose that other
     regicides would have been attempted in Germany during the course of
     the French Revolution, especially when the Republican armies
     occupied the country?

     The sect would be much less formidable if this were its doctrine,
     on the one hand because it would inspire in most of the _Illumines_
     a feeling of horror which would triumph even over the fear of
     vengeance, on the other hand because plots and conspiracies always
     leave some traces which guide the authorities to the footsteps of
     the prime instigators; and besides, it is the nature of things that
     out of twenty plots directed against sovereigns, nineteen come to
     light before they have reached the point of maturity necessary to
     their execution.

     The _Illumines'_ line of march is more prudent, more skilful, and
     consequently more dangerous; instead of revolting the imagination
     by ideas of regicide, they affect the most generous sentiments:
     declamations on the unhappy state of the people, on the selfishness
     of courtiers, on measures of administration, on all acts of
     authority that may offer a pretext to declamations as a contrast to
     the seductive pictures of the felicity that awaits the nations
     under the systems they wish to establish, such is their manner of
     procedure, particularly in private. More circumspect in their
     writings, they usually disguise the poison they dare not proffer
     openly under obscure metaphysics or more or less ingenious
     allegories. Often indeed texts from Holy Writ serve as an envelope
     and vehicle for these baneful insinuations....

By this continuous and insidious form of propaganda the imagination of
the adepts is so worked on that if a crisis arises, they are ready to,
carry out the most daring projects.

Another Association closely resembling the _Illumines_, Berckheim
reports, is known as the _Idealists_, whose system is founded on the
doctrine of perfectibility; these kindred sects "agree in seeing in the
words of Holy Scripture the pledge of universal regeneration, of an
absolute levelling down, and it is in this spirit that the sectarians
interpret the sacred books."

Berckheim further confirms the assertion I made in _World
Revolution_--contested, as usual, by a reviewer without a shred of
evidence to the contrary--that the Tugendbund derived from the
Illuminati. "The League of Virtue," he writes, "was directed by the
secondary chiefs of the _Illumines_.... In 1810 the Friends of Virtue
were so identified with the _Illumines_ in the North of Germany that no
line of demarcation was seen between them."

But it is time to turn to the testimony of another witness on the
activities of the secret societies which is likewise to be found at the
Archives Nationales.[650] This consists of a document transmitted by the
Court of Vienna to the Government of France after the Restoration, and
contains the interrogatory of a certain Witt Doehring, a nephew of the
Baron d'Eckstein, who, after taking part in secret society intrigues,
was summoned before the judge Abel at Bayreuth in February, 1824.
Amongst secret associations recently existing in Germany, the witness
asserted, were the "Independents" and the "Absolutes"; the latter
"adored in Robespierre their most perfect ideal, so that the crimes
committed during the French Revolution by this monster and the
Montagnards of the Convention were in their eyes, in accordance with
their moral system, heroic actions ennobled and sanctified by their
aim." The same document goes on to explain why so many combustible
elements had failed to produce an explosion in Germany:

     The thing that seemed the great obstacle to the plans of the
     Independents ... was what they called the servile character and the
     dog-like fidelity [_Hundestreue_] of the German people, that is to
     say, that attachment--innate and firmly impressed on their minds
     without even the aid of reason--which that excellent people
     everywhere bears towards its princes.

A traveller in Germany during the year 1795 admirably summed up the
matter in these words:

     The Germans are in this respect [of democracy] the most curious
     people in the world ... the cold and sober temperament of the
     Germans and their tranquil imagination enable them to combine the
     most daring opinions with the most servile conduct. That will
     explain to you ... why so much combustible material accumulating
     for so many years beneath the political edifice of Germany has not
     yet damaged it. Most of the princes, accustomed to see their men of
     letters so constantly free in their writings and so constantly
     slavish in their hearts, have not thought it necessary to use
     severity against this sheeplike herd of modern Gracchi and
     Brutuses. Some of them [the princes] have even without difficulty
     adopted part of their opinions, and Illuminism having doubtless
     been presented to them as perfection, the complement of philosophy,
     they were easily persuaded to be initiated into it. But great care
     was taken not to let them know more than the interests of the sect

It was thus that Illuminism, unable to provoke a blaze in the home of
its birth, spread, as before the French Revolution, to a more
inflammable Latin race--this time the Italians. Six years after his
interrogatory at Beyreuth, Witt Doehring published his book on the
secret societies of France and Italy, in which he now realized he had
played the part of dupe, and incidentally confirms the statement I have
previously quoted, that the Alta Vendita was a further development of
the Illuminati.

This infamous association, with which I have dealt at length
elsewhere,[652] constituted the Supreme Directory of the Carbonari and
was led by a group of Italian noblemen, amongst whom a prince, "the
profoundest of initiates, was charged as Inspector-General of the Order"
to propagate its principles throughout the North of Europe. "He had
received from the hands of Kingge [i.e. Knigge, the ally of Weishaupt?]
the cahiers of the last three degrees." But these were of course unknown
to the great majority of Carbonari, who entered the association in all
good faith. Witt Doehring then shows how faithfully the system of
Weishaupt was carried out by the Alta Vendita. In the three first
degrees, he explains--

     It is still a question of the morality of Christianity and even of
     the Church, for which those who wish to be received must promise to
     sacrifice themselves. The initiates imagine, according to this
     formula, that the object of the association is something high and
     noble, that it is the Order of those who desire a purer morality
     and a stronger piety, the independence and the unity of their
     country. One cannot therefore judge the Carbonari _en masse_; there
     are excellent men amongst them.... But everything changes after one
     has taken the three degrees. Already in the fourth, in that of the
     _Apostoli_, one promises to overthrow all monarchies, and
     especially the kings of the race of the Bourbons. But it is only in
     the seventh and last degree, reached by few, that revelations go
     further. At last the veil is torn completely for the Principi Summo
     Patriarcho. Then one learns that the aim of the Carbonari is just
     the same as that of the _Illumines_. This degree, in which a man is
     at the same time prince and bishop, coincides with the Homo Rex of
     the latter. The initiate vows the ruin of all religion and of all
     positive government, whether despotic or democratic; murder,
     poison, perjury, are all at their disposal. Who does not remember
     that on the suppression of the _Illumines_ was found, amongst other
     poisons, a _tinctura ad abortum faciendum_. The _summo maestro_
     laughs at the zeal of the mass of Carbonari who have sacrificed
     themselves for the liberty and independence of Italy, neither one
     nor the other being for him a goal but a method.[653]

Witt Doehring, who had himself reached the degree of P.S.P., thereupon
declares that, having taken his vows under a misapprehension, he holds
himself to be released from his obligations and conceives it his duty to
warn society. "The fears that assail governments are only too well
founded. The soil of Europe is volcanic."[654]

It is unnecessary to go over the ground already traversed in _World
Revolution_ by relating the history of the successive eruptions which
proved the truth of Witt Doehring's warning. The point to emphasize
again is that every one of these eruptions can be traced to the work of
the secret societies, and that, as in the eighteenth century, most of
the prominent revolutionaries were known to be connected with some
secret association. According to the plan laid down by Weishaupt,
Freemasonry was habitually adopted as a cover. Thus Louis _Amis de la
Verite_, numbering Bazard and Buchez amongst Blanc, himself a Freemason,
speaks of a lodge named the its founders, "in which the solemn
puerilities of the Grand Orient only served to mask political action."[655]
Bakunin, companion of the Freemason Proudhon,[656] "the father of
Anarchy," makes use of precisely the same expression. Freemasonry, he
explains, is not to be taken seriously, but "may serve as a mask" and
"as a means of preparing something quite different."[657]

I have quoted elsewhere the statement of the Socialist Malon that
"Bakunin was a disciple of Weishaupt," and that of the Anarchist
Kropotkine that between Bakunin's secret society--the _Alliance Sociale
Democratique_--and the secret societies of 1795 there was a direct
affiliation; I have quoted the assertion of Malon that "Communism was
handed down in the dark through the secret societies" of the nineteenth
century; I have quoted also the congratulations addressed by Lamartine
and the Freemason Cremieux to the Freemasons of France in 1848 on their
share in this revolution as in that of 1789; I have shown that the
organization of this later outbreak by the secret societies is not a
matter of surmise, but a fact admitted by all well-informed historians
and by the members of the secret societies themselves.

So, too, in the events of the Commune, and in the founding of the First
Internationale, the role of Freemasonry and the secret societies is no
less apparent. The Freemasons of France have indeed always boasted of
their share in political and social upheavals. Thus in 1874, Malapert,
orator of the Supreme Council of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite,
went so far as to say: "In the eighteenth century Freemasonry was so
widespread throughout the world that one can say that since that epoch
nothing has been done without its consent."

The secret history of Europe during the last two hundred years yet
remains to be written. Until viewed in the light of the _dessous des
cartes_, many events that have taken place during this period must
remain for ever incomprehensible.

But it is time to leave the past and consider the secret forces at work
in the world to-day.





In the foregoing portion of this book we have followed the history of
Freemasonry in the past and the various interpretations that have been
placed on its rites and ceremonies. The question now arises: what is the
role of Freemasonry to-day?

The fundamental error of most writers on this question, whether Masonic
or anti-Masonic, is to represent all Freemasons as holding a common
belief and animated by a common purpose. Thus on one hand the panegyrics
by Freemasons on their Order as a whole, and on the other hand the
sweeping condemnations of the Order by the Catholic Church, are equally
at fault.

The truth is that Freemasonry in a generic sense is simply a system of
binding men together for any given purpose, since it is obvious that
allegories and symbols, like the _x_ and _y_ of algebra, can be
interpreted in a hundred different manners. Two pillars may be said to
represent strength and stability, or man and woman, or light and
darkness, or any other two things we please. A triangle may signify the
Trinity, or Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity, or any other triad. To
say that any of these symbols have an absolute meaning is absurd.

The allegories of Freemasonry are equally capable of various
interpretations. The building of the Temple of Solomon may signify the
progress of any undertaking and Hiram the victim of its opponents. So
also with regard to the "secret tradition" of Freemasonry concerning "a
loss which has befallen humanity"[658] and its ultimate recovery. Any
body of people working for an object may be said to have experienced a
loss and to aim at its recovery.

In the same way the whole organization of Freemasonry, the plan of
admitting candidates to successive degrees of initiation, of binding
them to secrecy by fearful oaths, is one that can be employed for any
purpose, social, political, philanthropic, or religious, for promoting
that which is good or for disseminating that which is evil. It may be
used to defend a throne or to overthrow it, to protect religion or to
destroy it, to maintain law and order or to create anarchy.

Now, there was, as we have seen, from the beginning, besides the written
charges, an _oral tradition_ in Masonry, after the manner of the Cabala,
on which the guidance of the society depended. The true character of any
form of Freemasonry is thus not to be judged only by its printed ritual,
but by the oral instruction of the initiates and the interpretations
placed on the symbols and ritual. Naturally these interpretations vary
in different countries and at different periods. Freemasonry is
described in its Ritual as "a peculiar system of morality, veiled in
allegory and illustrated by symbols." But what code of morality? In
studying the history of the Order we shall find that the same code was
by no means common to all masonic bodies, nor is it to-day. Some
maintain a very high standard of morals; others appear to possess no
standard at all. Mr. Waite observes that "the two doctrines of the unity
of God and the immortality of the soul constitute 'the philosophy of
Freemasonry.'"[659] But these doctrines are by no means essential to
the existence of Freemasonry; the Grand Orient has renounced both, but
it still ranks as Freemasonry.

M. Paul Nourrisson is therefore perfectly right in saying: "There are as
many Masonries as countries; there is no such thing as universal
Masonry."[660] Broadly, however, modern Freemasonry may be divided into
two kinds: the variety worked in the British Empire, in America,
Holland, Sweden, Denmark, etc., and Grand Orient Masonry, which prevails
in Catholic countries and of which the most important centre is the
Grand Orient of Paris.

Continental Masonry

The fact that Masonry in Protestant countries is neither revolutionary
nor anti-religious is frequently used by Catholic writers to show that
Protestantism identifies itself with the aims of Masonry, and by
Freemasons to prove that the tyranny of the Church of Rome has driven
Masonry into an attitude hostile to Church and State. The point
overlooked in both these contentions is the essential difference in the
character of the two kinds of Masonry. If the Grand Orient had adhered
to the fundamental principle of British Masonry not to concern itself
with religion or politics, there is no reason why it should have come
into conflict with the Church. But its duplicity on this point is
apparent. Thus in one of its earlier manuals it declares, like British
Masonry, that it "never interferes with questions of government or of
civil and religious legislation, and that whilst making its members
participate in the perfecting of all sciences, it positively excepts in
the lodges two of the most beautiful, _politics_ and _theology_, because
these two sciences divide men and nations which Masonry constantly tends
to unite."[661] But on a further page of the same manual from which
this quotation is taken we find it stated that Masonry is simply "the
political application of Christianity."[662] Indeed, during the last
fifty years the Grand Orient has thrown off the mask and openly declared
itself to be political in its aims. In October 1887 the Venerable Bro.'.
Blanc said in a discourse which was printed for the lodges:

     You recognise with me, my brothers, the necessity for Freemasonry
     to become a vast and powerful political and social society having a
     decisive influence on the resolutions of the Republican

And in 1890 the Freemason Fernand Maurice declared "that nothing should
happen in France without the hidden action of Freemasonry," and "if the
Masons choose to organize, in ten years' time no one in France will be
able to move outside us (_personne ne bougera plus en France en dehors
de nous_)."[664]

This is the despotic power which the Grand Orient has established in
opposition to both Church and Government.

Moreover, Grand Orient masonry is not only political but subversive in
its political aims. Instead of the peaceful trilogy of British masonry,
"Brotherly love, relief, and truth," it has throughout adhered to the
formula which originated in the Masonic lodges of France and became the
war-cry of the Revolution: "Liberty, Equality, Fraternity." "It is the
law of equality," says Ragon, "that has always endeared Masonry to the
French," and "as long as equality really exists only in the lodges,
Masonry will be preserved in France."[665] The aim of Grand Orient
Masonry is thus to bring about universal equality as formulated by
Robespierre and Babeuf. In the matter of liberty we read further that as
men are all by nature free--the old fallacy of Rousseau and of the
Declaration of the Rights of Man--therefore "no one is necessarily
subjected to another nor has the right to rule him."[666] The
revolutionary expresses the same idea in the phrase that "no man should
have a master." Finally, by fraternity Grand Orient Masonry denotes the
abolition of all national feeling.

     It is to Masonry [Ragon says again] that we owe the affiliation of
     all classes of society, it alone could bring about this fusion
     which from its midst has passed into the life of the peoples. It
     alone could promulgate that humanitarian law of which the rising
     activity, tending to a great social uniformity, leads to the fusion
     of races, of different classes, of morals, codes, customs,
     languages, fashions, money, and measures. Its virtuous propaganda
     will become the humanitarian law of all consciences.[667]

The policy of the Grand Orient is thus avowedly International Socialism.
Indeed in a further passage Ragon plainly indicates this fact:

     Every generous reform, every social benefit derives from it, and if
     these survive it is because Masonry lends them its support. This
     phenomenon is due only to the power of its organization. The past
     belongs to it and the future cannot escape from it. By its immense
     lever of association it alone is able to realize by a productive
     communion (_communion generatrice_) that great and beautiful social
     unity conceived by Jaurez, Saint-Simon, Owen, Fourier. If Masons
     wish it, the generous conceptions of these philanthropic thinkers
     will cease to be vain Utopias.[668]

Who are the philanthropic thinkers enumerated here but the men
derisively described by Karl Marx as the "Utopian Socialists" of the
nineteenth century? Utopian Socialism is thus simply the open and
visible expression of Grand Orient Freemasonry. Moreover, these Utopian
Socialists were almost without exception Freemasons or members of other
secret societies.

The Freemason Clavel confirms the foregoing account by Ragon. Thus, like
Ragon, he quotes, the principle expressed in a ritual for the initiation
of a Master Mason:

     It is expressly forbidden to Masons to discuss amongst themselves,
     either in the lodge or outside it, religious and political matters,
     these discussions having usually the effect of creating discord
     where formerly peace, union, and fraternity reigned. This masonic
     law admits of no exceptions.[669]

But Clavel also goes on to say:

     To efface amongst men the distinctions of colour, rank, creed,
     opinions, country; to annihilate fanaticism, and ... the scourge of
     war; in a word, to make of the whole human race one and the same
     family united by affection, by devotion, by work and knowledge:
     that, my brother, is the great work which Freemasonry has
     undertaken, etc.[670]

Up to a point many a British Freemason reading these passages will
declare himself completely in accord with the sentiments expressed.
Humanitarianism, the obliteration of class distinctions, fraternization
between men of all races, conditions, and religious creeds, enter of
course largely into the spirit of British Masonry, but form simply the
basis on which Masons meet together in the lodges and not a political
system to be imposed on the world in general.

British Masonry thus makes no attempt to interfere with the existing
social system or form of Government; the essence of its teaching is that
each member of the Fraternity should seek to reform himself and not
society. In a word, individual regeneration takes the place of the
social reorganization advocated by the Grand Orient under the influence
of Illuminism. The formula of the "United States of Europe" and of the
"Universal Republic" first proclaimed by the Illuminatus, Anacharsis
Clootz,[671] has long been the slogan of the French lodges.[672]

In the matter of religion, Grand Orient Masonry has entirely departed
from the principle laid down by the British lodges. If the Catholic
Church has shown itself hostile to Masonry, it must be remembered that
in Catholic countries Masonry has shown itself militantly anti-Catholic.
"Freemasonry," one of its modern orators declared, "is the anti-Church,
the anti-Catholicism, the Church of Heresy (_la contre Eglise, le contre
Catholicisme, l'Eglise de l'Heresie_)."[673] The _Bulletin_ of the
Grand Orient in 1885 officially declared: "We Freemasons must pursue the
definite demolition of Catholicism."

But the Grand Orient goes further than this and attacks all forms of
religion. Thus, as has been said, those "ancient landmarks" of British
Masonry, belief in the Great Architect of the Universe and in the
immortality of the soul, had never formed an integral part of its
system, and it was only in 1849 that for the first time "it was
distinctly formulated that the basis of Freemasonry is a belief in God
and in the immortality of the soul, and the solidarity of Humanity." But
in September 1877 the first part of this formula was deleted, all
allusions to the Great Architect were omitted, and the statute now
reads: "Its basis is absolute liberty of conscience and the solidarity
of Humanity."[674] British Freemasonry, which does not admit liberty of
conscience in the sense of Atheism, but demands that every Mason should
profess belief in some form of religion and which insists that the
Volume of the Sacred Law--in England the Bible, in Mohammedan countries
the Koran, and so on--should be placed on the table in its lodges,
thereupon broke off all relations with the Grand Orient. In March 1878
the following resolution was passed unanimously:

     That the Grand Lodge, whilst always anxious to receive in the most
     fraternal spirit the Brethren of any foreign Grand Lodge whose
     proceedings are conducted according to the Ancient Landmarks of the
     Order, of which a belief in T.G.A.O.T.U. is the first and most
     important, cannot recognize as "true and genuine" Brethren any who
     have been initiated in lodges which either deny or ignore that

The Grand Orient, says M. Copin Albancelli, not content with renouncing
the Great Architect whose glory it had celebrated on every possible
occasion and whose praises had been incessantly sung in its lodges,
demanded of its initiates that they should declare themselves to be
absolutely convinced that the Great Architect was nothing but a
myth.[676] More than this, violent anti-religious tirades have been
permitted and even applauded in the lodges. Thus in 1902 the Freemason
Delpech in his discourse at a masonic banquet uttered these words:

     The triumph of the Galilean has lasted twenty centuries; he is
     dying in his turn. The mysterious voice which once on the mountains
     of Epirus announced the death of Pan, to-day announces the death of
     the deceiver God who had promised an era of justice and peace to
     those who should believe in him. The illusion has lasted very long;
     the lying God in his turn disappears; he goes to rejoin in the dust
     of ages the other divinities of India, Egypt, Greece, and Rome, who
     saw so many deluded creatures throw themselves at the food of their
     altars. Freemasons, we are pleased to state that we are not
     unconcerned with this ruin of false prophets. The Roman Church,
     founded on the Galilean myth, began to decline rapidly on the day
     when the masonic association was constituted. From the political
     point of view Freemasons have often varied. But in all times
     Freemasonry has stood firm on this principle: war on all
     superstitions, war on all fanaticism.[677]

How is it possible to reconcile this attitude towards religion in
general and Christianity in particular with the fact that the Grand
Orient still works the Rose-Croix degree? This degree--which, as we have
seen, was first devised (whether in Scotland or in France) to give a
Christian meaning to Masonry--was only incorporated into British
Freemasonry in 1846 and in our country has retained its original
character. Its ritual, centring around a lost word, signifies that the
Old Testament dispensation has come to an end with the Crucifixion, and
is so strongly Christian that no Jew, Mohammedan, or other non-Christian
can be admitted to it. Moreover, since this degree, known as the
eighteenth degree, forms in reality the first degree of the Ancient and
Accepted Rite, as worked in this country, non-Christians are excluded
from the whole of this Rite and can only take the degrees of Royal Arch,
Mark Mason, Royal Ark Mariner, and finally Royal Select and
Super-Excellent Master. Consequently the thirty-three Masons of the
thirty-third degree who compose the Supreme Council which directs the
Ancient and Accepted Rite are necessarily professing Christians. Exactly
the opposite is the case in France; the Rose-Croix, worked by professing
atheists and Jews, can only be parody of Christian mysteries.

Now, it is essential to realize that in France the anti-masonic camp is
divided into two parties. Whilst the majority of Catholic writers regard
Freemasonry itself as the source of all evil--"the Synagogue of
Satan"--more impartial investigators have pronounced the opinion that it
is not Freemasonry even of the Grand Orient variety but something
concealed behind Freemasonry which constitutes the principal danger.
This view is expressed by M. Copin Albancelli, whose book _Le Pouvoir
occulte contre la France_ is of the utmost importance to an
understanding of the masonic danger, for here there can be no question
of Catholic prejudice or of imaginary accusations made by a stranger to
Masonry. M. Copin Albancelli entered the Grand Orient as an agnostic and
has never returned to the bosom of the Church; yet as a Frenchman, a
patriot, and a believer in law, morality, and Christian ethics he found
himself obliged, after six years' experience in the lodges and after
attaining the degree of Rose-Croix, to leave Freemasonry and, further,
to denounce it. From what he himself heard and observed M. Copin
Albancelli declares the Grand Orient to be anti-patriotic, subversive of
all morality and religious belief, and an immense danger to France.

But further than this, M. Copin Albancelli declares the Grand Orient to
be a system of deception by which members are enlisted in a cause
unknown to themselves; even the initiates of the upper degrees are not
all aware of the real aim of the Order or of the power behind it. M.
Copin Albancelli thus arrives at the conclusion that there are three
Freemasonries one above the other: (i) Blue Masonry (i.e. the three
Craft Degrees), in which none of the real secrets are revealed to the
members and which serves merely as a sorting-ground for selecting likely
subjects; (2) the Upper Degrees, in which most of the members, whilst
imagining themselves to have been initiated into the whole secret of the
Order and "bursting with importance" over their imaginary role of
leaders, are only admitted to a partial knowledge of the goal to which
they are tending; and (3) the inner circle, "the true masters," those
who conceal themselves behind high-grade Masonry. Admission to this
inner circle may be, moreover, not a matter of degrees. "Whilst in the
lower Masonries the adepts are obliged to pass through all the degrees
of the established hierarchy, the upper and invisible Freemasonry is
certainly recruited not only amongst the thirty-three degrees but in all
the groups of upper-degree Masonry, and perhaps even in certain
exceptional cases outside these."[678] This inner and invisible
Freemasonry is to a large extent _international_.

The most illuminating passage in the whole of M. Copin Albancelli's book
is where he describes an experience that befell him after he had taken
the degree of Rose-Croix. It was then that one of his superiors took him
aside and addressed him in the following terms:

     "You realize the power which Freemasonry has at its disposal. We
     can say that we hold France. It is not because of our numbers,
     since there are only 25,000 Freemasons in this country [this was in
     1889]. Nor is it because we are the brains, for you have been able
     to judge of the intellectual mediocrity of the greater number of
     these 25,000 Freemasons. We hold France because we are organized
     and the only people who are organized. But above all, we hold
     France because we have an aim, this aim is unknown; as it is
     unknown, no obstacle can be put in its way; and finally, as no
     obstacle is put up, the way is wide open before us. This is
     logical, is it not?"


     "Good. But what would you say of an association which instead of
     consisting of 25,000 nonentities as in Freemasonry, were composed
     of, say, only a thousand individuals, but a thousand individuals
     recruited in the manner that I will tell you."

And the Freemason went on to explain the way in which such individuals
were selected, the months and years of observation, of supervision, to
which they were subjected, so as to form a body of picked men inside
Freemasonry capable of directing its operations.

     "You can imagine the power at the command of such an association?"

     "An association thus selected would do anything it chose. It could
     possess the world if it pleased."

Thereupon the higher adept, after asking for a further promise of
secrecy, declared:

     "Well, in exchange for this promise, Brother Copin, I am authorized
     to let you know that this association exists and that, further, I
     am authorized to introduce you into it."[679]

It was then that Monsieur Copin Albancelli understood that the point to
which the conversation was leading up was not, as he had at first
supposed, an invitation to take the next step in Freemasonry--the
thirtieth degree of Knight Kadosch--but to enter through a side-door
into an association concealed within Freemasonry and for which the
visible organization of the latter served merely as a cover. A very
curious resemblance will here be noticed between the method of sounding
M. Copin Albancelli and that of the Illuminatus Cato in the matter of
Savioli, described in a passage already quoted:

     Now that he is a Mason I have ... taken up the general plan of our
     (*), and as this pleased him I said that such a thing really existed,
     whereat he gave me his word that he would enter it.

M. Copin Albancelli, however, did not give his word that he would enter
it, but, on the contrary, checked further revelations by declaring that
he would leave Freemasonry.

This experience had afforded him a glimpse of "a world existing behind
the masonic world, more secret than it, unsuspected by it as by the
outside world."[680] Freemasonry, then, "can only be the half-lit
antechamber of the real secret society. That is the truth."[681] "There
exists then necessarily a permanent directing Power. We cannot see that
Power, therefore it is occult."[682]

For some time M. Copin Albancelli concluded this Power to be "the Jewish
power," and elaborated the idea in a further work[683]; but the war has
led him to develop his theories in yet another book, which will shortly

That the lodges of the Grand Orient are largely controlled by Jews is,
however, certain, and that they are centres of political propaganda is
equally undeniable. We have only to glance at the following
extracts--some of which are reproduced on the opposite page--from the
programme of debates in the _Bulletin_ of the Grand Orient for June 5,
1922, to recognize that the ideas they propagate are simply those of
International Socialism:

     Loge "Union et France": Lecture du Rapport de notre T.'. C.'. F.'.
     Chardard sur "L'Exploitation des richesses nationales au profit de
     la collectivite."

     Loge "Les Renovateurs": "Exploitation des Richesses nationales et
     des grosses Entreprises an profit de la collectivite." Conference
     de notre F.'. Goldschmidt, Orat.'. adjoint sur la meme question.

[Illustration: News paper clippings]

     Loge "Les Zeles Philanthropes": "La Transformation de la Societe
     Actuelle s'impose-t-elle?" Conference par le T.'. C.'. F.'. Edmond

     Loge "Paix-Travail-Solidarite": "Role de la Franc-Maconnerie dans
     la politique actuelle" par le F.'. F.'.

     Loge "Les Trinitaires": "Le Socialisme Francais" par le T.'. Ill. F.'.
     Elie May.

     Ten.'. Collective des L.'. "Emmanuel Arago" & "les Coeurs Unis
     indivisibles": "Comment propager notre Ideal Maconnique dans le
     Monde profane." Conference par le F.'. Jahia, de la R.'. L.'. Isis

     Loge "Isis Monthyon et Conscience et Volonte": "La Terreur et le
     Peril Fasciste en Italie, le Fascisme et la F.'.-Mac.'. Italienne,"
     impressions de notre F.'. Mazzini, de retour, apres un sejour
     prolonge en Italie.

It will be seen by the last of these extracts that Grand Orient Masonry
is the enemy of Fascismo, which saved Italy in her hour of peril.
Indeed, the Italian Masons passed a resolution which was directly
opposed to Fascist views, especially with regard to the religious policy
of Mussolini, who has restored the crucifix to the schools and religious
teaching to the curriculum. The Fascist _Giornale di Roma_ declared that
the principles announced by the Masons in this resolution were those
which threatened to submerge the State and nation. Consequently
Mussolini declared that Fascisti must either leave their lodges or leave

In Belgium Freemasonry has taken the same political and anti-religious
course. In 1856 the directing committee of the Belgian Grand Orient
declared: "Not only is it the right but the duty of the lodges to
supervise the actions in public life of those amongst its members
whom it has placed in political posts, the right to demand
explanations...."[685] When in 1866 at a funeral ceremony in honour of
the deceased King Leopold I the Grand Orient of Belgium displayed the
maxim, "The soul which has emanated from God is immortal," the
Freemasons of Louvain entered a violent protest on the ground that
"Free-thinking had been admitted by the Belgian lodges in 1864 as its
fundamental principle," and that the Grand Orient had therefore violated
the convictions of its members.[686]

In Spain and Portugal Freemasonry has played not merely a subversive
but an actively revolutionary and sanguinary role. The anarchist Ferrer,
intimately concerned with a plot to murder the King of Spain, was at the
same moment entrusted with negotiations between the Grand Orient of
France and the Grand Lodge of Catalonia.[687] These murderous schemes,
frustrated in Spain, met, however, in Portugal with complete success.
The Portuguese revolutions from 1910 to 1921 were organized under the
direction of Freemasonry and the secret society of Carbonarios. The
assassination of King Carlos and his elder son had been prepared by the
same secret organizations. In 1908 a pamphlet modelled on the libels
published against Marie Antoinette was directed against Queen Amelie and
her husband. A month later the assassination took place. Amongst the
leaders of the new Republic was Magalhaes Lima, Grand Master of the
Grand Orient of Portugal.[688]

The authorship of these disorders was, in fact, so clearly recognized
that honest Freemasons forsook the lodges. An English Mason, unaware of
the true character of Portuguese Freemasonry, when in Lisbon in August
1919, made himself known to several moderate Portuguese Masons, who,
while glad to welcome him as a brother, refused to take him to a lodge,
declaring that they had severed all connection with Masonry since it had
passed under the control of assassins. They also added that the
assassination of Senor Paes, the President in December 1918, was the
work of certain Portuguese lodges. A special meeting had previously been
held in Paris in conjunction with the Grand Orient of France, at which
it had been decided that Paes was to be removed. This decision reached,
the earliest opportunity of putting it into force was sought--with fatal
results. The assassin was imprisoned in the Penitentiary but liberated
by the revolution of 1921, and no attempt has been made to recapture
him. The murder of Dr. Antonio Granjo in October 1921 was traced to the
same agency. In the pocket of the murdered man was found a document from
the "Lodge of Liberty and Justice"(!) warning him of the decision taken
against him for having ordered the police to protect the British tramway

The present Portuguese Government, indeed, makes no secret of its
masonic character and prints the square and compass on its bank-notes.

But whilst in Spain and Portugal Freemasonry manifested itself in
Anarchist outrages, in the east of Europe the lodges, largely under the
control of Jews, followed the line of Marxian Socialism. After the fall
of the Bela Kun regime in Hungary a raid on the lodges brought to light
documents clearly revealing the fact that the ideas of Socialism had
been disseminated by the Freemasons. Thus in the minutes of meetings it
was recorded that on November 16, 1906, Dr. Kallos had addressed the
Gyor Lodge on Socialist ideals. "The ideal world which we call the
masonic world," he declared, "will be also a Socialist world and the
religion of Freemasonry is that of Socialism as well." Dr. Kallos then
proceeded to acquaint the members with the theories of Marx and Engels,
showing that no help was to be found in Utopias, as the interests of the
proletarians were in absolute conflict with those of other classes, and
these differences could only be settled by international class warfare.
Nevertheless with that fear of the proletariat which has always
characterized the democrats of revolutionary Freemasonry, Dr. Kallos
declared later that "the social revolution must take place without
bloodshed."[690] The Karolyi regime was the direct outcome of these
illusions, and as in all revolutions paved the way for the more violent

Still further east in Europe the lodges, though revolutionary, instead
of following the International Socialist line of Hungarian Freemasonry,
exhibited a political and nationalist character. The Young Turk movement
originated in the masonic lodges of Salonica under the direction of the
Grand Orient of Italy, which later contributed to the success of
Mustapha Kemal. Moreover, as we approach the Near East, cradle of the
masonic system, we find the Semitic influence not only of the Jews but
of other Semite races directing the lodges. In Turkey, in Egypt, in
Syria now, as a thousand years ago, the same secret societies which
inspired the Templars have never ceased to exist, and in this mingling
of the East and West it is possible that the Grand Orient may draw
reinforcement from those sources whence it drew its system and its name.

Amongst the strange survivals of early Eastern sects are the Druses of
Lebanon, who might indeed be described as the Freemasons of the East;
their outer organization closely resembles that of the Craft Degrees in
Western Masonry, yet such is their power of secrecy that few if any
Europeans have ever succeeded in discovering the secret doctrines. That
their tendency is largely political admits of little doubt; in fact men
intimately acquainted with the Near East have declared that the
influence they exercise over the politics of that region is as
far-reaching as that of the Grand Orient over the affairs of Europe and
that they form the breeding-ground of all political ideas and changes.
Though small in numbers this mysterious society is composed of past
masters in the game of intrigue, who, whilst playing apparently a minor
part at political meetings, secret or otherwise, or even remaining
completely silent, contrive to influence decisions with startling

British Masonry

We shall now consider the further ways in which British Masonry differs
from the Grand Orient.

In the first place, whilst working the same degrees, its rituals,
formulas, and ceremonies, as also the interpretation it places on words
and symbols, are different in many essential points.

Secondly, British Masonry is essentially an honest institution. Whereas
in the Grand Orient the initiate is led through a maze of ceremonies
towards a goal unknown to him which he may discover too late to be other
than he supposed, the British initiate, although admitted by gradual
stages to the mysteries of the Craft, knows nevertheless from the
beginning the general aim of the Order.

Thirdly, British Masonry is primarily philanthropic and the sums it
devotes to charitable purposes are immense. Since the war the three
principal masonic charities have collected annually over L300,000.

But the point to be emphasized here is that British Masonry is strictly
non-political, not merely in theory but in practice, and that it
enforces this principle on every occasion. Thus before the recent
General Election, the Report of the Board of General Purposes, drawn up
by Grand Lodge on December 5, 1923, recalled to the notice of the Craft
that "'all subjects of a political nature are strictly excluded from
discussion in masonic meetings,' this being in accordance with
long-established masonic tradition ... it follows from this that Masonry
must not be used for any personal or party purpose in connexion with an
election." It further emphasized the distinct caution "that any attempt
to bring the Craft into the electioneering arena would be treated as a
serious masonic offence."

At the same time a fresh injunction was made with regard to the Grand
Orient of France:

     As recognition was withdrawn from that body by the United Grand
     Lodge of England in 1878, ... it is considered necessary to warn
     all members of our lodges that they cannot visit any lodge under
     the obedience of a jurisdiction unrecognized by the United Grand
     Lodge of England; and further that under Rule 150 of the Book of
     Constitutions, they cannot admit visitors therefrom.

For the reasons given at the beginning of this section British Masonry
stands rigidly aloof from all attempts to create an international system
of Masonry. The idea was first suggested at the Masonic Congress of
Paris in 1889, convened to celebrate the centenary of the first French
Revolution, but led to nothing very definite until the Congress of
Geneva in September 1902, at which the delegates of thirty-four lodges,
Grand Lodges, Grand Orients, and Supreme Councils were present, and a
proposal was unanimously adopted "tending towards the creation of an
International Bureau for Masonic Affairs," to which twenty Powers,
mostly Europeans, gave their adherence. Brother Desmons, of the Grand
Orient of France, in an after-dinner speech declared it to have been
always "the dream of his life" that "all democracies should meet and
understand one another in such a way as one day to form the Universal

According to the official report of the proceedings, "the
representatives of Belgium, Holland, France, Germany, England, Spain,
Italy, and Switzerland greeted with much feeling the dawn of this new
era." The same Report goes on to observe that--

     It is altogether a mistake ... to believe that Freemasonry does not
     attack the defects of such and such a State, and that consequently
     it remains a stranger to party-strife and the tendencies of the

And again:

     Freemasonry has imposed upon itself a task--a mission. It is a
     question of nothing less than the rebuilding of society on an
     entirely new basis, which shall be more in accordance with the
     present conditions of the means of communication, of situation, and
     production, as well as of a reform of right, of a complete renewal
     of the principle of existence, especially of the principle of
     community and of the relations of men among one another.

The Report here quoted is, however, inaccurate in one important
particular. No English delegates were present at the Geneva Congress or
on any other occasion of the kind. There was a delegate from Adelaide
who spoke a good deal, but the Chairman specifically mentioned England
as taking no part in the movement. Later on, in a Report of the Board of
General Purposes to Grand Lodge on March 2, 1921, a letter from Lord
Ampthill, pro Grand Master, appears, declining an invitation from the
Swiss Grand Lodge Alpina to British Freemasons to attend an
International Masonic Congress in Geneva and quoting the following
letter from the Grand Secretary as an earlier precedent for this

     I am directed to state, in reply to the invitation to attend an
     International Masonic Conference in Switzerland during the coming
     autumn, that the United Grand Lodge of England will be unable to
     send representatives on the occasion. It never participates in a
     Masonic gathering in which are treated as an open question what it
     has always held to be ancient and essential Landmarks of the Craft,
     these being an express belief in the Great Architect of the
     Universe, and an obligatory recognition of the Volume of the Sacred
     Law. Its refusal to remain in fraternal association with such
     Sovereign Jurisdictions as have repudiated or made light of these
     Landmarks has long been upon record, and its resolve in this regard
     remains unshaken.

Lord Ampthill then went on to say:

     A further consequence of certain happenings of the war is to make
     more firm our resolve to keep, as far as in us lies, Freemasonry
     strictly away from participation in politics, either national or
     international. This attitude of aloofness from necessarily
     controversial affairs of State, on which Brethren can legitimately
     and most properly differ, has ever been maintained by our Grand
     Lodge since it was first convened in 1717. Because of this, it held
     aloof from such international conferences as were summoned during
     the war; and never more than now has the necessity for the
     maintenance of this attitude been felt by British Freemasons....
     For these reasons, the invitation to participate in the proposed
     International Conference of Freemasons at Geneva cannot be
     accepted. Such an assembly might be termed informal, but inevitably
     it would be regarded as opening a door to compromise on those
     things which this Grand Lodge has always held to be essentials.
     Such a compromise English Freemasonry will never contemplate. On
     these essentials we take the firm stand we have always done; we
     cannot detract from full recognition of the Great Architect of the
     Universe, and we shall continue to forbid the introduction of
     political discussion into our Lodges.

British Masonry has thus taken a firm stand against the Grand Orient.
But it is regrettable that views so admirably expressed should be
confined to masonic correspondence and not made more apparent to the
world in general. On the Continent, outside masonic circles, the
difference between British Masonry and the Grand Orient variety is _not_
sufficiently known, and the reticence of leading British Masons on this
subject has not only played into the hands of the intractable
anti-Masons, who declare all Masonry to be harmful, but has strengthened
the position of the revolutionaries who use Masonry for a subversive
purpose. Thus in the Portuguese revolution of 1920 the Masons of that
country who were directing the movement sheltered themselves behind the
good name of England. "How can you accuse the lodges of being murder
clubs," they said to the people, "when Masonry is directed by England
and had King Edward for its Grand Master?"

However ludicrous all this may seem to the British public, yet for the
honour of our country such accusations should not remain unrefuted. A
witness of the disorders that took place in Portugal declared to the
present writer that if only Grand Lodge of England would have published
a notice in the Continental press disassociating itself from the Grand
Orient in general and from Portuguese Freemasonry in particular, the
power of the revolutionaries would have been immensely weakened and the
anti-British and pro-German propaganda then circulating in the country
defeated. But British Freemasonry preferred to maintain an attitude of
aloofness, contenting itself with issuing periodical warnings against
the Grand Orient privately to the lodges.

This policy has done much to damage not only the good name of England
but of British Masonry in the eyes of the outside world, and
particularly in those of Roman Catholics, which is the more regrettable
since Freemasonry and the Roman Catholic Church are the only two
organized bodies in this country which really exercise discipline over
their members and forbid them to belong to subversive secret societies;
hence they provide the two strongest bulwarks against the occult forces
of revolution. For this reason, as we shall see later, they are the two
bodies which are the most feared by the recruiting agents of these

But in the case of Freemasonry the fact is unfortunately too little
known to the world in general. As a singularly broad-minded Jesuit has
recently expressed it:

     The anti-clerical and revolutionary activities of Continental
     Freemasonry did not begin when the Grand Orient finally abolished
     God. During a century and more these evil forces had been at work.
     Nevertheless English Masons only shrugged their shoulders and
     looked another way, though the true character of foreign Masonry
     was brought to their notice in such books as that of John Robison,
     _Proofs of a Conspiracy against all the Religions and Governments
     of Europe_....

     No doubt [the same writer says again] there has been at times a
     deplorable amount of exaggeration among Continental Catholics in
     attributing all the moral and social evils of the world to the
     insidious workings of Freemasonry.... But so long as English
     Freemasons resolutely avert their gaze from the anti-religious and
     anti-social activities of their Continental brethren there can be
     no hope of any better understanding.[692]

It is impossible to deny the truth of these strictures. As has already
been pointed out in the course of this book, British Freemasons have
frequently not only ignored Robison's warning but vilified him as the
enemy of Masonry, although he never attacked their Order but only the
perverted systems of the Continent; too often also they have exonerated
the most dangerous secret societies, notably the Illuminati, because,
apparently from a mistaken sense of loyalty, they conceive it their duty
to defend any association of a masonic character. This is simply
suicidal. British Masonry has no bitterer enemies than the secret
societies working for subversion, which, from the Illuminati onwards,
have always regarded honest Masonry with contempt and used its doctrines
for an ulterior purpose.

It is easy to see how these doctrines may be perverted to an end
directly opposed to that which British Masons have in view. Thus, for
example, the idea of the brotherhood of man in the sense of love for all
humanity is the essence of Christianity--"Be kindly affectioned one to
another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another." In
adopting "brotherly love" as a part of their sacred trilogy British
Masons adopt an entirely Christian standpoint. But if by the brotherhood
of man is meant that men of every race are equally related and that
therefore one owes the same duty to foreigners as to one's
fellow-countrymen it is obvious that all national feeling must vanish.
The British Freemason does not, of course, interpret the theory in this
manner; he cannot seriously regard himself as the brother of the Bambute
pygmy or the Polynesian cannibal, thus he uses the term merely in a
vague and theoretical sense.

What indeed does the word "brother" literally mean? If we consult the
dictionary we shall see it defined as "a male born of the same parents;
anyone closely united with or resembling one another; associated in
common interests, occupation," etc. It is therefore obviously absurd to
say that men of such different races as those referred to are brothers;
they are not born of the same kind of parents, they are not united in
their aims, they do not remotely resemble one another, and they are not
associated in common interests and occupations. Though these happen to
be extreme cases, there are nevertheless essential differences between
men of the same zone and climate. The Englishman and the Frenchman are
not brothers because they do not see life from the same point of view,
but that is no reason why they should not be close allies.

The brotherhood of man, if taken literally, is therefore a misleading
term, nor is such a relationship necessary to the peace of the world.
Cain and Abel were not better friends, for being brothers. David and
Jonathan, on the other hand, were not brothers but devoted friends. In
striving after universal brotherhood in a literal sense, Freemasons are
therefore pursuing a chimera.

The most dangerous fallacy to which democracy, under the influence of
Illuminized Freemasonry, has succumbed is that peace between nations can
be brought about by means of Internationalism, that is to say, by the
destruction of national feeling. Yet a man is not more likely to live at
peace with his neighbours because he is devoid of natural affection; on
the contrary, the good brother, the devoted father, is most likely to
become the faithful friend. Permanent peace between nations will
probably never be ensured, but the only basis on which such a situation
can conceivably be established is the basis of sane Nationalism--an
understanding between the patriotic and virile elements in every
country which, because they value their own liberties and revere their
own traditions, are able to respect those of other nations.
Internationalism is an understanding between the decadent elements in
each country--the conscientious objectors, the drawing-room Socialists,
the visionaries--who shirk the realities of life and, as the Socialist
Karl Kautsky in a description of Idealists has admirably expressed it,
"see only differences of opinion and misapprehension where there are
actually irreconcilable antagonisms." This is why at times of crisis
Idealists are of all men the most dangerous and Pacifists the great
promoters of wars. Understanding between nations is wholly desirable,
but the destruction of the national spirit everywhere can only lead to
the weakening of all countries where this process takes place and the
triumph of the nations who refuse to accept the same principle.

It will perhaps be answered that Freemasons do not believe in the
doctrine of brotherhood between all men, but only between Masons of all
races. But this may lead no less to national disintegration if it
creates a nation within each nation, an international fraternity
independent of the countries to which its members belong. The logical
outcome of this may be that a man will refuse to fight for his country
against his brother Masons--it is what has happened in France. The Grand
Orient was before the recent war the great breeding-ground of
anti-patriotism, where all schemes for national defence were
discouraged. Before 1870 the same thing took place, and it was in the
masonic lodges that Germany found her most valuable allies.

In the same way the doctrine of the perfectibility of human nature lends
itself to perversion. Nothing could be more desirable than that man
should strive after perfection. Did not Christ enjoin His disciples: "Be
ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in Heaven is
perfect"? Man is therefore acting in accordance with Christian
principles in seeking after divine perfection. But when he comes to
believe that he has already attained it he makes of himself a god. "If I
justify myself," said Job, "mine own mouth shall condemn me; if I say I
am perfect, it shall also prove me perverse." And St. John: "If we say
we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us." More
than this, if we seek perfection in others we deceive ourselves equally
and make gods of men. This is precisely the conclusion at which
perverted Freemasonry and the forms of Socialism deriving from it
arrive. Human nature, they say, is itself divine; what need then for
other divinities? The Catholic Church is consequently quite right in
declaring that the doctrine of the perfectibility of human nature leads
to the deification of humanity in that it puts humanity in the place of
God. The Grand Orient, which definitely accepts this doctrine, has
therefore logically erased the name of the Great Architect of the
Universe from its ritual and has become an association of Freethinkers
and Atheists.

Is it necessary to point out the folly as well as the crime of this
delusion--the ludicrous inconsequence of men who divinize humanity yet
revile what they call "society"? All the evils of the world, they
declare, are not to be found in nature but in "man-made laws," in the
institutions of "society." Yet what is society but the outcome of human
wills, of human aspirations? Society may be, and no doubt is, in need of
reformation, but are not its imperfections the creation of imperfect
beings? It is true that to-day the world is in a state of chaos,
industrial chaos, political chaos, social chaos, religious chaos.
Everywhere men are losing faith in the causes they are supposed to
represent; authority questions its own right to govern, democracy is
rent with divisions, the ruling classes are abdicating in favour of
unscrupulous demagogues, the ministers of religion barter their faith
for popularity.

And what has brought the world to this pass? Humanity! Humanity, that
all-wise, all-virtuous abstraction that needs no light from Heaven.
Humanity that was to take the place of God! If ever there was a moment
in the history of the world when the futility of this pretension should
be apparent it is the present moment. All the ills, all the confusion,
what are they but the outcome of human error and of human passions? It
is not Capitalism that has failed, nor yet Democracy, nor yet even
Socialism as a principle, it is not monarchy that has broken down, nor
Republicanism, nor again religion; _it is humanity that has broken
down_. The ills of Capitalism arise from the egoism of individual
capitalists; Socialism has failed because, as Robert Owen discovered,
the idle, the quarrelsome, the selfish have prevented its success. If
men were perfect, Socialism might succeed, but so might any other
system. A perfect capitalist would love his employee as himself, just as
a perfect Socialist would be willing to work for the common good. It is
the imperfections of human nature that prevent, and will always prevent,
any system from being perfect. There will never be a Millennium of man's
making. Only the application of Christian principles to human conduct
can bring about a better order of things.

Grand Orient Masonry, in deifying human nature, thus not only builds
upon the sand, but by its rejection of all religion takes away the sole
hope of human progress. Meanwhile, by the support it lends to Socialism
it encourages the class war instead of the brotherhood between men of
all ranks and conditions which it professes to advocate. British
Freemasonry, on the other hand, whilst not interpreting brotherhood in a
political sense, nevertheless contributes to social peace. At the annual
conference of the Labour Party in 1923 a proposal was made by the
extreme section that "any person who is a Free mason should be excluded
from any kind of office," it being suggested that "in cases where an
understanding has been reached between Trade Union leaders and
employers, thus preventing or limiting industrial trouble, the secret
has been the bond of Freemasonry."[693] Whether this was the case or
not, British Masonry, by taking its stand on patriotism and respect for
religion, necessarily tends to unite men of all classes and therefore
offers a formidable bulwark against the forces of revolution. Any
attacks on British Masonry as at present constituted and directed are
therefore absolutely opposed to the interests of the country. But at the
same time it behoves Masons to beware of the insidious attempts that are
being made by irregular secret societies to infiltrate the Craft and
pervert its true principles. The present satisfactory condition of
Freemasonry in England is owing not only to its established statutes,
but to the character of the men who control it--men who are not, as in
eighteenth-century France, mere figureheads, but the real directors of
the Order. Should the control ever pass into the wrong hands and the
agents of secret societies succeed in capturing a number of the lodges,
this great stabilizing force might become a gigantic engine of
destruction. How insidiously these efforts are being made we shall see
in the next chapter.



We have seen that from the Illuminati onwards subversive societies have
always sought recruits amongst orthodox Freemasons. The reason for this
is obvious: not only do the doctrines of Freemasonry lend themselves to
perversion, but the training provided in the Lodges makes an admirable
preparation for initiation into other secret systems. The man who has
learnt to maintain silence even on what may appear to him as
trivialities, who is willing to submit to mystification, to ask no
questions, and to recognize the authority of superiors whom he is in no
way legally obliged to obey, who has, moreover, become imbued with the
_esprit de corps_ which binds him to his fellow-members in a common
cause, is naturally a better subject for the secret society adept than
the free lance who is liable to assert his independence at any moment.
Perhaps the most important factor, however, is the nature of the masonic
oaths. These terrible penalties, which many Freemasons themselves regret
as a survival of barbarism and which have in fact been abolished in the
higher degrees, have done much to create prejudice against Freemasonry,
whilst at the same time they provide an additional incentive to outside
intriguers. In the opinion of M. Copin Albancelli, the abolition of the
oath would go far to prevent penetration of British Masonry by the
secret societies.

Now, by their obligations British Freemasons are forbidden to join these
irregular societies, not only because their principles are in conflict
with those of orthodox Masonry, but because in most cases they admit
women. According to the ruling of Grand Lodge, "any member working under
the English Jurisdiction ... violates his Obligation by being present at
or assisting in assemblies professing to be Masonic which are attended
by women." Warnings to this effect have been frequently given in the
Lodges; on September 3, 1919, the Board of General Purposes issued the
following report:

     The Board's attention is being increasingly drawn to sedulous
     endeavours which are being made by certain bodies unrecognized as
     Masonic by the United Grand Lodge of England, to induce Freemasons
     to join in their assemblies. As all such bodies which admit women
     to membership are clandestine and irregular, it is necessary to
     caution Brethren against being inadvertently led to violate their
     Obligation by becoming members of them or attending their meetings.
     Grand Lodge, nine years since, approved the action of the Board in
     suspending from all Masonic rights and privileges two Brethren who
     had contumaciously failed to explain the grave Masonic irregularity
     to which attention is now again called; and it is earnestly hoped
     that no occasion will arise for having again to institute
     disciplinary proceedings of a like kind.

The idea of women Masons is, of course, not a new one. As early as 1730
lodges for women are said to have existed in France, and towards the end
of the century several excellent women, such as the Duchesse de Bourbon
and the Princesse de Lamballe, played a leading part in the Order. But
this _Maconnerie d'Adoption_, as it was called, retained a purely
convivial character; a sham ceremonial, with symbols, pass words, and a
ritual, was devised as a consolation to the members for their exclusion
from the real lodges. These mummeries were, as Ragon observes, "only the
pretexts for assemblies; the real objects were the banquet and the ball,
which were their inevitable accompaniments."[694]

But this precedent, inaugurated as a society pastime and accompanied by
all the frivolity of the age, paved the way for Weishaupt's two classes
of women members, who, although never initiated into the secrets of the
Order, were to act as useful tools "directed by men without knowing it."
For this purpose they were to be divided into two classes, the
"virtuous" to play the part of figureheads or decoys, and the
"freer-hearted," who were to carry out the real designs of the Order.

The same plan was adopted nearly a hundred years later by Weishaupt's
disciple Bakunin, who, however, did admit women as actual initiates into
his secret society, the Alliance Sociale Democratique, but, like
Weishaupt, divided them into classes. The sixth category of people to be
employed in the work of social revolution is thus described in his

     The sixth category is very important. They are the women, who must
     be divided into three classes: the first, frivolous women, without
     mind or heart, which we must use in the same manner as the third
     and fourth categories of men [i.e. by "getting hold of their dirty
     secrets and making them our slaves"]; the second, the ardent,
     devoted and capable women, but who are not ours because they have
     not reached a practical revolutionary understanding, without
     phrase--we must make use of these like the men of the fifth
     category [i.e. by "drawing them incessantly into practical and
     perilous manifestations, which will result in making the majority
     of them disappear while making some of them genuine
     revolutionaries"]; finally, the women who are entirely with us,
     that is to say completely initiated and having accepted our
     programme in its entirety. We ought to consider them as the most
     precious of our treasures, without whose help we can do

The first and only woman to be admitted into real Masonry, if such a
term can be applied to so heterogeneous a system, was Maria Deraismes,
an ardent French Feminist celebrated for her political speeches and
electioneering campaigns in the district of Pontoise and for twenty-five
years the acknowledged leader of the anti-clerical and Feminist
party.[696] In 1882 Maria Deraismes was initiated into Freemasonry by
the members of the Lodge _Les Libres Penseurs_, deriving from the Grande
Loge Symbolique Ecossaise and situated at Pecq in the Department of
Seine-et-Oise. The proceeding being, however, entirely unconstitutional,
Maria Deraismes's initiation was declared by the Grande Loge to be null
and void and the Lodge _Les Libres Penseurs_ was disgraced.[697] But
some years afterwards Dr. George Martin, an enthusiastic advocate of
votes for women, collaborated with Maria Deraismes in founding the
_Maconnerie Mixte_ at the first lodge of the Order named "Le Droit
Humain." The _Supreme Conseil Universel Mixte_ was founded in 1899.

The Maconnerie Mixte was political and in no way theosophical or occult,
and its programme, like that of the Grand Orient, was Utopian Socialism,
whilst by its insistence on the supremacy of reason it definitely
proclaimed its antagonism to all revealed religion. Thus in the involved
language of Dr. George Martin himself:

     The Ordre Maconnique Mixte Internationale is the first mixed,
     philosophic, progressive, and philanthropic Masonic Power to be
     organized and constituted in the world, placed above all the
     prooccupations of the philosophical or religious ideas which may be
     professed by those who ask to become members.... The Order wishes
     to interest itself principally in the vital interests of the human
     being on earth; it wishes above all to study in its Temples the
     means for realizing Peace between all nations and social Justice
     which will enable all human beings to enjoy during their lives the
     greatest possible sum of moral felicity and of material
     well-being.... Claiming no divine revelation and loudly affirming
     that it is only an emanation of human reason, this fraternal
     institution is not dogmatic, it is rationalist.[698]

Into this materialist and political club, erected under the guise of
Freemasonry, entered Annie Besant with all the strange conglomeration of
Eastern doctrines now known as Theosophy.


Before entering on this question it is necessary to make my own position
clear. Although I should much prefer not to introduce a personal note
into the discussion, I feel that nothing I say will carry any weight if
it appears to be an expression of opinion by one who has never
considered religious doctrines from anything but the orthodox Christian
point of view. I should explain, then, that I have known Theosophists
from my early youth, that I have travelled in India, Ceylon, Burma, and
Japan and seen much to admire in the great religions of the East. I do
not believe that God has revealed Himself to one portion of mankind
alone and that during only the last 1,900 years of the world's history;
I do not accept the doctrine that all the millions of human beings who
have never heard of Christ are plunged in spiritual darkness; I believe
that behind all religions founded on a law of righteousness there lies a
divine and central truth, that Ikhnaton, Moses and Isaiah, Socrates and
Epictetus, Marcus Aurelius, Buddha, Zoroaster, and Mohammed were all
teachers who interpreted to men the aspect of the divine as it had been
vouchsafed to them and which in harmony with the supreme revelation
given to man by Jesus Christ.

This conception of an affinity between all great religious faiths was
beautifully expressed by an old Mohammedan to a friend of the present
writer with whom he stood watching a Hindu procession pass through an
Indian village. In answer to the Englishman's enquiry, "What do you
think of this?" the Mohammedan replied:

     "Ah, sahib, we cannot tell. We know of three roads up the hill of
     endeavour to the gates of Paradise--the way of Mousa [Moses], the
     way of Issa [Jesus], and the way of Mahmoud, and there may be other
     roads of which you and I know nothing. I was born in the way of
     Mahmoud, and I believe it to be the best and the easiest to follow,
     and you were born in the way of Issa. And of this I am very sure:
     that if you will follow your guide on your road and I follow my
     guide on my road, when we have climbed the hill of endeavour, we
     shall salute one another again at the gates of Paradise."

If, then, in the following pages I attempt to show the errors of
Theosophy, it is not because I do not recognize that there is much that
is good and beautiful in the ancient religions from which it professes
to derive.

But what is Theosophy? The word, as we have already seen, was used in
the eighteenth century to denote the theory of the Martinists; it was
known two centuries earlier when Haselmeyer in 1612 wrote of "the
laudable Fraternity of the Theosophists of the Rosy Cross." According to
Colonel Olcott, who with Madame Blavatsky founded the modern
Theosophical Society in New York in 1875, the word was discovered by one
of the members "in turning over the leaves of a Dictionary" and
forthwith unanimously adopted.[699] Madame Blavatsky had arrived in
America two years earlier, before which date she professed to have been
initiated into certain esoteric doctrines in Thibet. Monsieur Guenon,
who writes with inside knowledge of the movement, indicates, however,
the existence of concealed superiors on the Continent of Europe by whom
she was in reality directed.

     What is very significant ... is that Madame Blavatsky in 1875 wrote
     this: "I have been sent from Paris to America in order to verify
     phenomena and their reality and to show the deception of the
     Spiritualist theory." Sent by whom? Later she will say: by the
     "Mahatmas"; but then there was no question of them, and besides it
     was in Paris that she received her mission, and not in India or in

Elsewhere Monsieur Guenon observes that it is very doubtful whether
Madame Blavatsky was ever in Thibet at all. These obvious attempts at
concealment lead Monsieur Guenon therefore to the conclusion that in the
background of Theosophy there existed a mysterious centre of direction,
that Madame Blavatsky was simply "an instrument in the hands of
individuals or occult groups sheltering behind her personality," and
that "those who believe she invented everything, that she did everything
by herself and on her own initiative, are as much mistaken as those who,
on the contrary, believe her affirmations concerning her relations with
the pretended Mahatmas."[701]

There is some reason to believe that the people under whom Madame
Blavatsky was working at this date in Paris were Serapis Bey and Tuiti
Bey, who belonged to "the Egyptian Brothers." This might answer M.
Guenon's question: "By whom was she sent to America?" But another
passage from Madame Blavatsky's writings, on the person of Christ, that
M. Guenon quotes later, indicates a further source of inspiration: "For
me, Jesus Christ, that is to say the Man-God of the Christians, copy of
the Avatars of all countries, of the Hindu Chrishna as of the Egyptian
Horus, was never a _historical_ personage." Hence the story of His life
was merely an allegory founded on the existence of "a personage named
Jehoshua born at Lud." But elsewhere she asserted that Jesus may have
lived during the Christian era or a century earlier "_as the Sepher
Toldoth Jehoshua indicates_" (my italics). And Madame Blavatsky went on
to say of the savants who deny the historical value of this legend, that

     either lie or talk nonsense. _It is our Masters who affirm it_ [my
     italics]. If the history of Jehoshua or Jesus Ben Pandera is false,
     then the whole of the Talmud, the whole of the Jewish canon law, is
     false. It was the disciple of Jehoshua Ben Parachia, the fifth
     President of the Sanhedrim since Ezra, who re-wrote the Bible....
     This story is much truer than that of the New Testament, of which
     history does not say a word.[702]

Who were the Masters whose authority Madame Blavatsky here invokes?
Clearly not the Trans-Himalayan Brotherhood to whom she habitually
refers by this term, and who can certainly not be suspected of affirming
the authenticity of the Toldoth Yeshu. It is evident, then, that there
were other "Masters" from whom Madame Blavatsky received this teaching,
and that those other masters were Cabalists.

The same Judaic influence appears more strongly in a book published by
the Theosophical Society in 1903, where the Talmud and the Toledot Yeshu
are quoted at great length and the Christians are derided for resenting
the attacks on their faith contained in these books, whilst the Jews are
represented as innocent, persecuted victims. One passage will suffice to
give an idea of the author's point of view:

     The Christ [said the mystics] was born "of a virgin"; the unwitting
     believer in Jesus as _the_ historical Messiah in the exclusive
     Jewish sense, and in his being _the_ Son of God, nay God Himself,
     in course of time asserted that Mary was that virgin; whereupon
     Rabbinical logic, which in this case was simple and common logic,
     met this extravagance by the natural retort that, seeing that his
     paternity was unacknowledged, Jesus was therefore illegitimate, a
     bastard [_mamzer_].[703]

It is obviously, then, less from Thibetan Mahatmas, Hindu Swamis, Sikh
Gurus, or Egyptian Brothers than from Jewish Cabalists that these
leaders of Theosophy have borrowed their ideas on Jesus Christ. As the
Jewish writer Adolphe Franck has truly observed: "Des qu'il est question
de theosophie, on est sur de voir apparaitre la Kabbale."[704] And he
goes on to show the direct influence of Cabalism on the modern
Theosophical Society.

Mrs. Besant, without endorsing the worst blasphemies of the Toledot
Yeshu, nevertheless reflected this and other Judaic traditions in her
book _Esoteric Christianity_, where she related that Jesus was brought
up amongst the Essenes, and that later He went to Egypt, where He became
an initiate of the great esoteric lodge--that is to say, the Great White
Lodge--from which all great religions derive. It will be seen that
this is only a version of the old story of the Talmudists and
Cabalists, perpetuated by the Gnostics, the Rosicrucians, and the
nineteenth-century _Ordre du Temple_.[705] But according to one of Mrs.
Besant's Theosophical antagonists, her doctrine "rests on a perpetual
equivocation," and whilst allowing the English public to believe that
when she spoke of the coming Christ she referred to the Christ of the
Gospels, she stated to her intimates what Mr. Leadbeater taught in his
book _The Inner Life_, namely, that the Christ of the Gospels never
existed, but was an invention of the monks of the second century.[706]
It should be understood, however, that in the language of the
Theosophists, led by Mrs. Besant and Mr. Leadbeater, Jesus and "the
Christ" are two separate and distinct individualities, and that when
they now speak of "the Christ" they refer to someone living in a
bungalow in the Himalayas with whom Mr. Leadbeater has interviews to
arrange about his approaching advent.[707] Portraits of this person have
been distributed amongst the members of "The Star in the East," an Order
founded at Benares in 1911 by Mr. Leadbeater and J. Krishnamurti for the
purpose of preparing the world for the coming of the Great Teacher.

But it is time to return to the alliance between Theosophy and the
Maconnerie Mixte. Whether Mrs. Besant, who had begun her career as a
Freethinker, retained some lingering belief in her earlier creed at the
time she entered into relations with the Order, or whether she saw in
this materialistic society a valuable concrete organization for the
dissemination of her new esoteric theories, it is impossible to know. At
any rate, she rose rapidly through the succeeding degrees and became
before long Vice President of the _Supreme Conseil_, which appointed her
its national delegate to Great Britain. It was in this capacity that she
founded the English branch of the Order under the name of Co-Masonry
(that is, admitting both sexes) at the Lodge "Human Duty" in London,
which was consecrated on September 26, 1902, and later founded another
lodge at Adyar in India, named "The Rising Sun." The number of lodges on
the Grand Roll of Co-Masonry, including those abroad, is now said to be
no less than 442.

Co-Masonry thus receives a two-fold direction, for whilst remaining in
constant correspondence with the _Supreme Conseil Universel Mixte_,
situated at 5 Rue Jules-Breton in Paris and presided over by the Grand
Master Piron, with Madame Amelie Gedalje, thirty-third degree, as Grand
Secretary-General, it receives further instructions from "the V.'. Ill.'.
Bro.'. Annie Besant 33deg." at Adyar. In order not to shock the
susceptibilities of English adepts who might be repelled by the
rationalist tendencies of the Maconnerie Mixte, Mrs. Besant has,
however, borrowed the formulas of British Masonry together with its
custom of placing the V.S.L. on the table in the lodges. These
conflicting doctrines are blended in an amusing manner on the
certificates of the Order, where at the top we find the French motto and

               Liberte Egalite Fraternite
               A.'. L.'. G.'. D.'. L'H.'.
            (i.e. a la gloire de l'Humanite)

and below, for the benefit of English members, the initials of the
British masonic device, that does not of course appear on the diplomas
of the French Order, which, like the Grand Orient, has rejected the
Great Architect:

         T.'. T.'. G.'. O.'. T.'. G.'. A.'. O.'. T.'. U.'.
       (To the glory of the Great Architect of the Universe).

Our Co-Masons therefore enjoy the advantage of being able to choose
whether they shall render glory to God or to Humanity. That the two
devices are somewhat incompatible does not appear to strike the English
initiates, nor do they probably realize the imposture practised on them
by the further wording of the certificate, which, after announcing in
imposing capitals "To all Masons dispersed over both Hemispheres,
Greeting," goes on to say "We therefore recommend him (_or_ her) as such
to all Freemasons of the Globe, requesting them to recognize him (_or_
her) in all the rights and privileges attached to this Degree, as we
will do to all presenting themselves under similar circumstances."

Now, any British Mason will see at a glance that all this is a false
pretension. No order of Masonry can recommend its members for rights and
privileges to "all the Freemasons of the world," for the simple reason
that, as has been said, there is no such thing as "Universal Masonry,"
so that even Grand Lodge of England--the most important Lodge in the
world--could not, if it would, accord the right of entry for its members
into Continental lodges. As an English Mason recently expressed it:

     The impression among non-Masons generally appears to be that a
     British or Irish member of the Craft is able to enter a masonic
     lodge in any part of the world and take part in its deliberations
     and proceedings. To this belief an unqualified denial may at once
     be given. Nor may a member of a lodge under any Jurisdiction not
     in communion with the Grand Lodges of the United Kingdom be
     received as a visitor or as a Joining Member in any subsidiary
     lodge of the Grand Lodges of England, Ireland, or Scotland.[708]

But for Co-Masonry to make this claim is even more ridiculous, since at
the time when the above quoted diploma was drawn up Co-Masonry and its
parent, the Maconnerie Mixte, were not recognized by any other order of
Masonry except the "Droit Humain," and it is not only unrecognized but
utterly repudiated by Grand Lodge of England. The British Mason, in
fact, does not recognize the Co-Mason as a Mason at all, and would
violate his obligations by discussing masonic secrets with him or her,
so that there is no manner in which the Co-Mason could be accorded
masonic rights and privileges by British Masons. In order, further, to
keep up the illusion in the minds of its members that they are genuine
Masons, Co-Masonry, in its quarterly organ, _The Co-Mason_, is careful
to include masonic news relating to British Masonry as if it formed one
and the same order.

With regard to the Grand Orient, an equally tortuous policy was pursued.
As we have already seen, the Grande Loge disgraced the lodge that had
admitted Maria Deraismes and did not officially recognize the Maconnerie
Mixte. The ritual adopted by the latter Order was, however, not that of
British Masonry, and in most Co-Masonic Lodges the ritual employed
contains variations derived from the Grand Orient[709]; indeed the Grand
Orient character of Co-Masonry has always been generally recognized in
masonic circles. This being so, I pointed out in _World Revolution_ that
Co-Masonry derives from the Grand Orient, but I received the following
protest from a woman Co-Mason:

     Are you aware that for twenty years the Grand Orient has refused to
     recognize it [Co-Masonry] as a legitimate body, just as the English
     Orthodox Masons do now? Also, we are distinctly told before joining
     that we shall not be recognized by that body. Also, we have nothing
     to do with Illuminati, or with Germany. As the Grand Orient have
     eliminated the Deity, it is rather a dreadful thing to a Mason to
     be connected in any way with that Order, and I cannot imagine a
     worse thing could be said about us.

This letter was dated March 6, 1922, and on the 19th of the preceding
month of February an alliance between the Grand Orient and Co-Masonry
had been finally celebrated at the Grand Temple of the Droit Humain in
Paris! We find a report of this ceremony in the _Co-Mason_ for the
following April. It is evident, therefore, that members who were likely
to be repelled by the idea of connexion with the Grand Orient were
assured that no such connexion existed. But when this covert _liaison_
developed into official recognition--although this did not include the
right of entry to the lodges of the Grand Orient for women members--the
triumphant manner in which the great event was announced in the
_Co-Mason_ suggests that the majority of members were likely to feel
nothing but satisfaction at association with the Order that "had
eliminated the Deity." It is true that a few members protested, and by
this time Co-Masonry was too completely under the control of Mrs. Besant
for any faction to question her dictates. Moreover, the opposition had
been weakened by a schism which took place in the Order in 1908, when a
number of members who objected to the introduction of Eastern occultism
into Masonry and likewise disapproved of the Grand Orient, formed
themselves into a separate body under Mrs. Halsey and Dr. Geikie Cobb,
working only the Craft Degrees according to the Grand Lodge of England.

It has been shown by this brief resume that Co-Masonry is a hybrid
system deriving from two conflicting sources--the political and
rationalist doctrines of the _Maconnerie Mixte_ and the Eastern
occultism of Madame Blavatsky and Mrs. Besant.

As a professing Buddhist, Madame Blavatsky consistently dissociated
herself from any schemes of material welfare. Thus in the early
Constitution of the Theosophical Society it is stated:

     "The Society repudiates all interference on its behalf with the
     Governmental relations of any nation or community, confining its
     attention exclusively to the matters set forth in the present

These matters relate to the study of Occult Sciences. Again Madame
Blavatsky herself wrote in the _Theosophist_:

     Unconcerned about politics: hostile to the insane dreams of
     Socialism and Communism, which it abhors--as both are but disguised
     conspiracies of brutal force and selfishness against honest
     labour; the Society cares but little about the outward human
     management of the material world. The whole of its aspirations are
     directed towards the occult truths of the visible and invisible

It will be seen that this declaration is diametrically opposed to that
of the Maconnerie Mixte. Nevertheless, Madame Blavatsky so far departed
from her purely occult programme after her arrival in India in 1879 as
to reconstruct the society on the basis of "Universal Brotherhood." This
idea was completely absent from her first scheme; "the Brotherhood plank
in the Society's future platform," wrote her coadjutor Colonel Olcott,
"was not thought of."[712] It was over this plank, however, that Mrs.
Besant was able to walk to the Supreme Council of the Maconnerie Mixte,
and adding Liberty and Equality to the principle of Fraternity to
establish Co-Masonry on a definitely political basis as a preparation
for the Socialist doctrines her teacher had "abhorred."

In the matter of esoteric doctrines Mrs. Besant again departed from the
path laid down by Madame Blavatsky, whose aim had been to rehabilitate
Buddhism in India, representing the teachings of Gautama Buddha as an
advance on Hinduism.[713] Mrs. Besant, however, came to regard the
doctrines of the Brahmins as the purer faith. Yet it was neither
Buddhism nor Hinduism in a pure form that she introduced to the
Co-Masons of the West, but an occult system of her own devising, wherein
Mahatmas, Swamis, and Gurus were incongruously mingled with the
charlatans of eighteenth-century France. Thus in the Co-Masonic lodges
we find "the King" inscribed over the Grand Master's chair in the East,
in the North the empty chair of "the Master"--to which, until recently,
all members were required to bow in passing--and over it a picture,
veiled in some lodges, of the same mysterious personage. Should the
neophyte enquire, "Who is the King?" he may be told that he is the King
who is to come from India--whether he is identical with the young Hindu
Krishnamurti adopted by Mrs. Besant in 1909 is not clear--whilst the
question "Who is the Master?" will probably be met with the reply that
he is "the Master of all true Freemasons throughout the world," which
the enquirer takes to mean the head of the religion to which he happens
to belong--Christ, Mohammed, or another. But in the third degree the
astonishing information is confided with an appearance of great secrecy
that he is no other than the famous Comte de Saint-Germain, who did not
really die in 1784, but is still alive to-day in Hungary under the name
of Ragocsky. In yet a higher degree, however, the initiate may be told
that the Master is in reality Prince Eugene of Austria.

It would be superfluous to describe in detail the wild nonsense that
composes the creed of Co-Masonry, since a long series of articles was
recently devoted to the subject in _The Patriot_ and can be consulted by
anyone who desires information concerning its ceremonies and the
personnel directing it.[714] Suffice it to say here that its course,
like that of most secret societies, has been marked by violent
dissensions amongst the members--the Blavatsky-ites passionately
denouncing the Besantites and the Besantites proclaiming the divine
infallibility of their leader--whilst at the same time scandals of a
peculiarly unsavoury kind have been brought to light. This fact has
indeed created a serious schism in the ranks of the Theosophists, which
shows that a number of perfectly harmless people are to be found amongst
them. Yet the peculiar recurrence of such scandals in the history of
secret societies leads one inevitably to wonder how far these are to be
regarded as merely deplorable accidents or as the results of
secret-society methods and of occult teaching. That the men against whom
charges of sexual perversion were brought were not isolated examples of
these tendencies is shown by a curious admission on the part of one of
Madame Blavatsky's "chelas," or disciples, who relates:

     I was a pupil of H.P.B. before Mrs. Besant joined the T.S. and saw
     her expel one of her most gifted and valued workers from the
     Esoteric Section for offences against the occult and moral law,
     similar to those with which Mr. Leadbeater's name has now been
     associated for nearly twenty years. H.P.B. was always extremely
     strict on this particular point, and _many_ [my itals.] would-be
     aspirants for chelaship were refused on this one ground alone,
     while others who had been accepted "on probation" failed almost
     immediately afterwards.[715]

It would appear, then, that these deplorable proclivities are peculiarly
prevalent amongst aspirants to Theosophical knowledge.

It is unnecessary to enlarge at length on Mrs. Besant's connexion with
the seditious elements in this country and in India, since these have
frequently been referred to in the press. It is true that the
Theosophical Society, like the Grand Orient, disavows all political
intentions and professes to work only for spiritual development, but the
leaders appear to consider that a radical change must take place in the
existing social system before true spiritual development can be
attained. That this change would lie in the direction of Socialism is
suggested by the fact that a group of leading Theosophists, including
Mrs. Besant, were discovered in 1919 to be holding a large number of
shares in the Victoria House Printing Company, which was financing the
_Daily Herald_ at that date[716]; indeed, Mrs. Besant in her lectures on
Liberty, Equality, Fraternity, at the Queen's Hall in October of the
same year, clearly indicated Socialism as the system of the coming New
Era.[717] Since then the "Action Lodge" has been founded with the object
of carrying "Theosophical ideals and conceptions into all fields of
human activity"[718]--from which the political field appears not to be
excluded, since this lodge has been known to co-operate with the
promoters of a political meeting on the Indian question.[719] It is
interesting to notice that a leading member of the "Action Lodge," and
also of the "Order of the Star in the East," was recently reported in
the press to have been long connected with the Labour Party and to have
notified her intention of standing for it in Parliament.

This is, of course, not to say that all Theosophists are Socialists. The
Theosophical Society of America, in an admirable series of articles[720]
discussing the theory of world-revolution set forth in my books, pointed
out that:

     The pupils of the powers of evil work ... untiringly to thwart
     every real advance of the human race, to pull down whatever
     civilization painfully builds, that makes for light and true
     development and spiritual growth.... It would not be difficult to
     suggest reasons why these pupils and co-workers of the powers of
     darkness choose the chief clauses of their creed: Internationalism,
     Communism, the destruction of the higher class through the despotic
     rule of the lowest class, the corruption of family life. The attack
     on religion hardly needs comment.

It will be seen, then, that Socialism and Internationalism are not an
essential part of Theosophical teaching, and that the more enlightened
Theosophists recognize the danger of these destructive doctrines. At a
Special Convention in England on April 6 of this year, seven Lodges
entered a protest against recent departures from the original policy of
the Society. Amongst the resolutions put forward was one urging the
President (Mrs. Besant) to establish a tribunal "to investigate matters
affecting the good name of the Society, and the conduct of certain
members"; this was lost by "an overwhelming majority." Another
resolution regretted that "the Administration, the Magazine, and the
influence of the Society have been used for controversial political ends
and sectarian religious propaganda." Unhappily these resolutions were
not met in the fraternal spirit that might be expected from a Society
setting out to establish Universal Brotherhood and were stigmatized in a
proposed amendment as "destructive motions ... at variance with the
objects for which the Society stands." This clause in the amendment was
lost by a small majority, but a very large majority supported the
further clauses in which the Special Convention affirmed "its complete
confidence in the administration of the Society and its beloved and
revered President Dr. Annie Besant, the chosen leader of whom it is
justly proud," and sent "its cordial greetings to Bishop Leadbeater,
F.T.S.," thanking him "for his invaluable work and his unswerving
devotion to the cause of Theosophy and the service of the Theosophical

There are, then, a certain number of Theosophists in this country who
have the courage and public spirit to protest against the use of the
Society for political ends and against infractions of the moral code
which they believe certain members to have committed. But this party
unfortunately constitutes only a small minority; the rest are prepared
to render blind and unquestioning obedience to the dictates of Mrs.
Besant and Mr. Leadbeater. In this respect the Theosophical Society
follows the usual plan of secret societies. For although not nominally a
secret society it is one in effect, being composed of outer and inner
circles and absolutely controlled by supreme directors. The inner
circle, known as the Esoteric Section, or rather the Eastern School of
Theosophy--usually referred to as the E.S.--is in reality a secret
society, consisting in its turn of three further circles, the innermost
composed of the Mahatmas or Masters of the White Lodge, the second of
the Accepted Pupils or Initiates, and the third of the Learners or
ordinary members. The E.S. and Co-Masonry thus compose two secret
societies within the open order controlled by people who are frequently
members of both. Whether even these higher initiates are really in the
secret is another question. Dr. Weller van Hook who is said to have been
also a Rosicrucian and an important member of the Grand Orient once
cryptically observed that "Theosophy is not the hierarchy," implying
that it was only part of a world-organization, and darkly hinting that
if it did not carry out the work allotted to it, the Rosicrucians would
take control. That this is more than probable we shall see later.

The outer ranks of the Theosophical Society seem to be largely composed
of harmless enthusiasts who imagine that they are receiving genuine
instruction in the religions and occult doctrines of the East. That the
teaching of the E.S. would not be taken seriously by any real
Orientalist and that they could learn far more by studying the works of
recognized authorities on these subjects at a University or at the
British Museum does not occur to them for a moment. Nor would this
fulfil the purpose of the leaders. For the Theosophical Society is not a
study group, but essentially a propagandist society which aims at
substituting for the pure and simple teaching of Christianity the
amazing compound of Eastern superstition, Cabalism, and
eighteenth-century charlatanism which Mrs. Besant and her coadjutors
have devised. Yet even were the doctrines of Mrs. Besant those of true
Buddhism or of Brahmanism, to what extent are they likely to benefit
Western civilization? Setting the question of Christianity aside,
experience shows that the attempt to orientalize Occidentals may prove
no less disastrous than the attempt to occidentalize Orientals, and that
to transport Eastern mysticism to the West is to vulgarize it and to
produce a debased form of occultism that frequently ends in moral
deterioration or mental derangement.[721] I attribute the scandals that
have taken place amongst Theosophists directly to this cause.

But it is time to turn to another society in which this debased
occultism plays a still more important part.


At the present time, as in the eighteenth century, the term
"Rosicrucianism" is used to cover a number of associations differing in
their aims and doctrines.

The first of these societies to be founded in England was the _Societas
Rosicruciana in Anglia_, founded in 1867 by Robert Wentworth Little on
instructions received from abroad. Only Master Masons are admitted--a
procedure not condemned by Grand Lodge of England, which regards the
S.R.I.A. as a perfectly innocuous body. Although neither polical nor
anti-Christian, but, on the contrary, containing distinctly Christian
elements and claiming to descend from Christian Rosenkreutz--a claim
which must be dismissed as an absurdity--the S.R.I.A. is nevertheless
largely Cabalistic,[722] dealing with the forces of Nature, alchemy,
etc. If its progenitors are really to be traced further back than the
Rosicrucians of the nineteenth century--Ragon, Eliphas Levi, and Kenneth
Mackenzie--they must be sought amongst certain esoteric Masons in
Hungary and also amongst the French Martinistes, whose rituals doubtless
derived from a kindred source. It will be remembered that Marlines
Pasqually bequeathed to his disciples a large number of Jewish
manuscripts which were presumably preserved in the archives of the
Martiniste Lodge at Lyons. The Order of Martinistes has never ceased to
exist, and the President of the Supreme Conseil, Dr. Gerard Encausse,
well known as "Papus," an avowed Cabalist, only died in 1916. To these
archives another famous Cabalist, the renegade Abbe, Alphonse Louis
Constant, who assumed the name of Eliphas Levi, may well have had
access. It is said that one of Eliphas Levi's most distinguished
disciples, the occultist Baron Spedalieri of Marseilles, was a member of
the "Grand Lodge of Solitary Brethren of the Mountain," an "Illumined
Brother of the Ancient Restored Order of Manicheans," a high member of
the Grand Orient, and also a "High Illuminate of the Martinistes."
Before his death in 1875 Eliphas Levi announced that in 1879 a new
political and religious "universal Kingdom" would be established, and
that it would be possessed by "him who would have the keys of the East."
The manuscript containing this prophecy was passed on by Baron
Spedalieri to Edward Maitland, who in his turn gave it to a leading
member of S.R.I.A., by whom it was published in English.[723]

But, as we have already seen, the principal centre of Cabalism was in
Eastern Europe, whilst Germany was the principal home of Rosicrucianism,
and it was from these directions that, a few years later, a new
Rosicrucian Order in England derived its inspiration. It is curious to
notice that the eighties of the last century were marked by a
simultaneous recrudescence of secret societies and of Socialist
organizations. In 1880 Leopold Engel reorganized Weishaupt's Order of
Illuminati, which, according to M. Guenon, played thenceforth "an
extremely suspect political role," and soon after this in 1884 it is
said that a strange incident took place in London. The Rev. A.F.A.
Woodford, a F.'. M.'., happened to be turning over the contents of a
second-hand bookstall in Farringdon Street when he came upon some cypher
MSS., attached to which was a letter in German saying that if the finder
were to communicate with Sapiens Dominabatur Astris, c/o Fraulein Anna
Sprengel, in Germany, he would receive further interesting information.

This, at any rate, is the story told to initiates of the Order which
came to be founded according to the instructions given in the cypher.
But when we remember that precisely the same story was told by
Cagliostro concerning his discovery of a MS. in London by the mysterious
George Cofton on which he had founded his Egyptian rite, we begin to
wonder whether the placing of a MS. in a spot where it is certain to be
discovered by precisely the people qualified to decipher it forms one of
the traditional methods of secret-society adepts for extending their
sphere of influence without betraying their identity or revealing the
centre of direction.

In this case it certainly succeeded admirably, for by a fortunate
coincidence the clergyman who found the cypher MSS. was acquainted with
two prominent members of the S.I.R.A., Dr. Wynn Westcott and Dr.
Woodman, to whom he took the documents, and by a further fortunate
coincidence one of them happened to be the very person to whom Eliphas
Levi's prophecy had been given; These two men who now assumed the
pseudonyms of S.A. (Sapere Aude) and M.E.V. (Magnus est Veritas), were
able partially to decipher the manuscript; S.A., with the assistance of
a German, then wrote to S.D.A. c/o Fraulein Anna Sprengel, saying that
he and a friend had finished the deciphering and that they desired
further information. In reply they were told to elaborate the notes, and
that if diligent they would be allowed to form an elementary branch of
the Rosicrucian Order in England. Finally S.D.A. wrote to S.A.
authorising him to sign her (or his?) name to any warrant or document
necessary for the constitution of an Order, and promising later on
further rituals and advanced teachings if the preliminary Order proved
successful. S.A. and M.E.V. now called in the aid of a third member of
the S.I.R.A., Macgregor Mathers, henceforth known as D.D.C.F. (Deo Duce
Comite Ferro), who, having more time at his disposal, was able, by means
of long and arduous labour, to elaborate the rituals in Masonic style.
On March 8, 1888, a warrant was then drawn up according to the design
given in the cypher MSS. and was signed by S.A. for S.D.A., by M.E.V.
and D.D.C.F., all three having received the honorary grade of 7-4 from
S.D.A. so as to enable them to act as Chief of the New Temple. It is
interesting to note that whilst the instructions in the cypher MSS. were
in English and German, the name now given to the new Order "The Golden
Dawn," was accompanied by its equivalent in Hebrew "Chebreth Zerech aur
Bokher" that is to say "The Companions of the Rising Light of the
Morning." Amongst the instructions we find: "Avoid Roman Catholics but
with pity"; also these directions concerning the Obligation:

     The candidate asking for Light is taken to the Altar and forced to
     take an Obligation to secrecy under penalty of expulsion and death
     or palsy from hostile current of will.

From the subsequent correspondence of the Order it is seen that this
so-called "punitive current" was actually directed by the Chiefs against
those who rebelled.

Although the members of the Golden Dawn later became linked up with the
"Esoteric Masons" in Germany, neither the organization nor the ritual of
the Order are masonic, but rather Martiniste and Cabalistic. For amidst
all the confused phraseology of the Order, the phrases and symbols
borrowed from Egyptian, Greek, or Hindu mythology, one detects the real
basis of the whole system--the Jewish Cabala, in which all the three
Chiefs were, or became, experts. Mathers in fact translated the famous
book of Abraham the Jew from French into English with explanatory notes,
and Wynn Westcott translated the Sepher Yetzirah from Hebrew. Lectures
were given to the society on such subjects as the Tarot Cards, Geomantic
Talismans, and the Schemhamphorasch or Tetragrammaton.

The Order was at first absolutely governed by the three Chiefs, but
after a time--owing to the death of Woodman and the resignation of Wynn
Westcott--Mathers became the Sole Chief and professed to have obtained
further instructions from the Hidden Chiefs through his wife--a sister
of Bergson--by means of clairvoyance and clairaudience. But the real
directors of the Order were in Germany and known as the "Hidden and
Secret Chiefs of the Third Order." A curious resemblance will here be
noted with the "Concealed Superiors" by whom members of the _Stricte
Observance_ in the eighteenth century declared themselves to be

Who these men were at the time the Order was founded remains a mystery
not only to the outside world but even to the English initiates
themselves. The identity of Sapiens Dominabatur Astris appears never to
have been established, nor was anything more heard about the still more
mysterious Anna Sprengel until her death in an obscure German village
was reported in 1893. Indeed, one of the most active members of the
Order, Dr. Robert Felkin, M.D., known as F.R. (Finem Respice), later
declared that, although he had visited five temples of the Order in
Germany and Austria, he had been unable to get into touch with the
Hidden Chiefs, or to discover how the original MSS. came into the hands
of the clergyman who handed them to Wynn Westcott and Woodman. According
to Felkin's statement, all that he had been able to find out was that
the MSS. were the notes of ceremonies made by a man who had been
initiated into a Lodge in Germany, and that the temple from which they
originated was "a special temple" working on the Cabala tree like the
English branch of the Order. Further, he was told that none of the "big
Three" who founded the Golden Dawn in England were real Rosicrucians at

The confusion of ideas which must inevitably result when, as in secret
societies or revolutionary organizations, a number of people are being
blindly led by hidden directors, naturally brought about dissensions
amongst the members, who mutually accused each other of ignorance of the
real aims of the Order. Thus the London Lodge ended by breaking with
Mathers, who was in Paris, on account of his arrogance in claiming
supreme power through the mystery of the Hidden Chiefs, and after two
years of unsettled government, in 1902 elected three new chiefs--Dr.
Felkin (F.R. = Finem Respice), Bullock, a solicitor (L.O. = Levavi
Oculos) who resigned at the end of the year, and Brodie Innes (S.S.--Sub
Spe). But although Mathers had been repudiated, his teachings were
retained as emanating from the Hidden Chiefs.

Two years earlier a dramatic incident had occurred. In a very sinister
personage, Aleister Crowley, had been introduced into the Order on
the recommendation of A. E. Waite (S.R. = Sacramentum Regis) the
well-known mystical writer. A man of many aliases, Crowley followed the
precedent of the "Comte de Saint-Germain," the "Comte de Cagliostro,"
and the "Baron von Offenbach" by ennobling himself and masquerading
under various titles in turn, such as "Count Svareff," "Lord Boleskine,"
"Baron Rosenkreutz," but usually known in the Order as "P" for

Crowley, who was a Cabalist, had written a book on Goetic Magic and soon
after becoming a member of the "Golden Dawn" set to work with another
"Frater" on magical experiments, including evocations, the consecration
and use of talismans, divination, alchemy, etc. In 1900 Crowley had
joined Mathers in Paris where the latter and his wife were living under
the assumed names of the "Comte and Comtesse of Glenstrae" and engaged
in reviving the mysteries of Isis at the Bodiniere Theatre. In this task
they were joined by an extraordinary lady, the notorious Madame Horos
(alias the Swami) who claimed to be the real and authentic Sapiens
Dominabatur Astris. Crowley described her as "a very stout woman and
very fair" and "a vampire of remarkable power;" Mathers declared her to
be "probably the most powerful medium living," but later, in a letter to
another member of the "Golden Dawn" observed: "I believe her and her
accomplices to be emissaries of a very powerful _secret occult order_
who have been trying for years to break up other Orders and especially
my work." Incidentally this lady, who proved to be a false S.D.A., ended
by starting an Order in collaboration with her husband, in which it was
said that certain rituals of the Golden Dawn were adapted to an immoral
purpose, with the result that the couple were brought to trial and
finally condemned to penal servitude.

Whether owing to this disturbing experience, or because, as Crowley
declared, he had "imprudently attracted to himself forces of evil too
great and terrible for him to withstand, presumably Abramelin demons,"
Mathers' reason began to totter. This then was the situation at the time
of his rupture with the Order, and the dramatic incident referred to was
the sudden appearance of Crowley in London, who, whether acting as
Mathers' envoy or on his own initiative, broke into the premises of the
Order, with a black mask over his face, a plaid shawl thrown over his
shoulders, an enormous gold (or gilt) cross on his breast, and a dagger
at his side, for the purpose of taking over possession. This attempt was
baffled with the prosaic aid of the police and Crowley was expelled from
the Order. Eventually, however, he succeeded in obtaining possession of
some of the rituals and other documents of the Golden Dawn, which he
proceeded to publish in the organ of a new Order of his own. This
magazine, containing a mixture of debased Cabalism and vulgar
blasphemies, interspersed with panegyrics on haschish--for Crowley
combined with sexual perversion an addiction to drugs--which might
appear to express only the ravings of a maniac. But eccentricity has
often provided the best cloak for dark designs, and the outbreak of war
proved that there was a method in the madness of the man whom the
authorities persisted in regarding merely as an irresponsible degenerate
of a non-political kind. To quote the press report of his exploits after
this date:

     In November 1914 Crowley went to the United States, where he
     entered into close relations with the pro-German propagandists. He
     edited the New York _International_, a German propagandist paper
     run by the notorious George Silvester Viereck, and published, among
     other things, an obscene attack on the King and a glorification of
     the Kaiser. Crowley ran occultism as a side-line, and seems to have
     been known as the "Purple Priest." Later on he publicly destroyed
     his British passport before the Statute of Liberty, declared in
     favour of the Irish Republican cause, and made a theatrical
     declaration of "war" on England.... During his stay in America
     Crowley was associated with a body known as the "Secret
     Revolutionary Committee" which was working for the establishment of
     an Irish Republic. He is known also as the writer of a defeatest
     manifesto circulated in France in 1915.

But to return to the Golden Dawn. In 1903 a split occurred in the Order.
A.E. Waite, an early member of it, seceded from it with a number of
other members and carried off with him the name of "Golden Dawn," also
the vault and other property of the Order. The original Order then took
the name of "Stella Matutina," with Dr. Felkin as Chief.

In the preceding year the members of the London Lodge had again believed
that they were in touch with the _Hidden Third Order_ and revived their
efforts to communicate with the Secret Chiefs in Germany. This state of
uncertainty continued till about 1910, when Felkin and Meakin set forth
for Germany, where they succeeded in meeting several members of the
Third Order, who professed to be "true and genuine Rosicrucians" and to
know of Anna Sprengel and the starting of the Order in England. They
were not, it was believed, the Secret and Hidden Chiefs, but more
probably Esoteric Masons of the Grand Orient. These Fratres, however,
told them that in order to form a definite etheric link between
themselves and the Order in Great Britain, it would be necessary for a
British Frater to be under their instruction for a year. Accordingly
Meakin remained in Germany for special training, so that he might act as
the "etheric link" between the two countries. After a pilgrimage to the
Near East, closely following the itinerary of Christian Rosenkreutz,
Meakin returned to Germany, and it appears to have been now that he was
able to get into touch with a certain high adept of occult science.

This remarkable personage, Rudolf Steiner, had earlier belonged to the
Theosophical Society, and it has been suggested that at some period he
may have been connected with the revived Illuminati of Leopold Engel.
There is certainly some reason to believe that at one point in his
career he came into touch with men who were carrying on the teachings of
Weishaupt, the chief of whom was the President of a group of Pan-German
secret societies, and it seems not improbable that the mysterious
S.D.A., under whose directions the Golden Dawn was founded, might be
located in this circle.

A few years before the war, Steiner, whilst still a Theosophist, started
a society of his own, the Anthroposophical Society, a name borrowed from
the work of the XVIIth century Rosicrucian, Thomas Vaughan,
"Anthroposophica Magica." The ostensible leader of Rosicrucianism in
Germany was Dr. Franz Hartmann, founder of the "Order of the Esoteric
Rose Croix." Although in some way connected with Engel's Illuminati and
more definitely with the Theosophical Society, Hartmann was believed to
be a genuine Christian mystic. Steiner also made the same profession,
and it seems probable that he formed one of the group of mysterious
personages, including besides Grand Orient Masons, Baron von Knigge,
great grandson of Weishaupt's coadjutor "Philo," who met together in
secret conference at Ingoldstadt where the first Lodge of the Illuminati
had been founded in 1776, and decided to revive Illuminism on Christian
mystic lines used in a very elastic sense amongst occultists. At the
same time Steiner introduces into his teaching a strong vein of
Gnosticism, Luciferianism, Johannism, and Grand Orient Masonry, whilst
reserving Rosicrucianism for his higher initiates. On this last point he
is extremely reticent, preferring to call his teaching "occult science,"
since he recognizes that "real Rosicrucians never proclaim themselves as
such"; it is therefore only in the inner circle of his society, on which
no information is given to the public and into which members are
admitted by much the same forms of initiation as those used by the Grand
Orient, that Rosicrucianism is mentioned. Some of Steiner's imitators in
The Rosicrucian Fellowship at Oceanside, California, however, openly
profess what they call Rosicrucianism and at the same time claim
superior knowledge on the subject of Masonry. Thus in a book by the
leader of this group we find it solemnly stated that according to Max
Heindl, Eve cohabited with serpents in the garden of Eden, that Cain was
the offspring of her union with "the Lucifer Spirit Samael," and that
from this "divine progenitor" the most virile portion of the human race
descended, the rest being merely the "progeny of human parents." Readers
of the present work will recognize this as not the legend of Masonry but
of the Jewish Cabala which has been already quoted in this context.[724]
Whether this also forms part of Steiner's teaching it is impossible to
say, since his real doctrines are known only to his inner circle; even
some of his admirers amongst the Steiner Matutina, whilst consulting him
as an oracle, are not admitted to the secrets of his grades of
initiation and have been unable to succeed in obtaining from him a
charter. Meanwhile they themselves do not disclose to the neophytes whom
they seek to win over that they are members of any secret association.
This is quite in accordance with the methods of Weishaupt's "Insinuating

The result of what Steiner calls "occult science" is thus described in a
striking passage of one of his own works:

"This is the change which the occult student observes coming over
himself--that there is no longer a connection between a thought and a
feeling or a feeling and a volition, except when he creates the
connection himself. No impulse drives him from thought to action if he
does not voluntarily harbour it. He can now stand completely without
feeling before an object which, before his training, would have filled
him with glowing love or violent hatred; he can likewise remain
actionless before a thought which heretofore would have spurred him to
action as if by itself," etc.

I can imagine no clearer expose of the dangers of occultism than this.
Weishaupt had said: "I cannot use men as I find them; I must form them."
Dr. Steiner shows how this transformation can be accomplished. Under the
influence of so-called occult training, which is in reality simply
powerful suggestion, all a man's native impulses and inhibitive springs
of action may be broken; the pupil of the occultist will no longer react
to the conceptions of beauty or ugliness, of right or wrong, which,
unknown to himself, formed the law of his being. Thus not only his
conscious deeds but his sub-conscious processes pass under the control
of another. If this is indeed the method employed by Dr. Steiner and his
adepts there would certainly seem to be some justification for the
verdict of M. Robert Kuentz that "Steiner has devised occult exercises
which render the mind incapable (rendent l'esprit aneanti), that he
attacks the individual by deranging his faculties (il detraque les

What is the real motive power behind such societies as the Stella
Matutina and again behind Steiner? This remains a mystery, not only to
the outside world but to the "initiates" themselves. The quest of the
Hidden Chiefs, undertaken by one intrepid pilgrim after another, seems
to have ended only in further meetings with Steiner. Yet hope springs
eternal in the breast of the aspirant after occult knowledge, and astral
messages spurred the Fratres to further efforts. One of these contained
the exhortation: "Go on with Steiner, which is not the ultimate end of
search, and we will come into contact with many serious students who
will lead us to the real master of the Order, who will be so
overpoweringly impressive as to leave no room for doubt."

A curious analogy with Co-Masonry will here be observed. For whilst the
veiled picture of the Co-Masonic lodges is said to represent "the
Master" in the person of Ragocsky or some other personage in Austria or
Hungary, so it is likewise in Austria and Germany that the members of
Stella Matutina seek their Hidden Chiefs and the "real Master" of their
Order. Moreover, whilst the Co-Masons await the coming of the great
"World Teacher," King, or Messiah in 1926, it is also in 1926 that the
Stella Matutina expect Christian Rosenkreutz to appear again.[726] There
are many other points of resemblance between the phraseology of the two
Orders, as, for example, the idea of the "Astral Light," "the Great
White Lodge," and also "the GREAT WORK" by which both Orders denote the
supreme object of their aspirations--"the union of the East and the
West." It is therefore impossible not to suspect that, although the
members of Co-Masonry and of the Stella Matutina imagine their
respective Orders to be entirely unconnected and indeed appear to be
hardly aware of each other's existence, there may be nevertheless some
point of junction in the background and even a common centre of

In this connexion it is interesting to notice the political tendencies
of the societies in question. Although the outcome of the _Maconnerie
Mixte_, and nominally under the jurisdiction of headquarters in Paris,
Co-Masonry does not appear to be pro-French in its sympathies. On the
contrary, the Co-masonic lodges in this country, as also the head lodge
in the Rue Jules-Breton, seem to have adopted that form of universal
brotherhood which principally redounds to the benefit of Germany.

The Stella Matutina, whilst professing to be solely concerned in occult
science and warning its members against Co-Masonry on account of the
political tendencies of the latter, is nevertheless still more imbued
with German influence, since, as we have seen, it has ever since it
first came into existence been secretly under Germany direction. Indeed,
during the war this influence became so apparent that certain patriotic
members, who had entered the society in all good faith with the idea of
studying occult science, raised an energetic protest and a schism took
place. Thus, just as in the case of Co-Masonry, the more clear-sighted
recognized the imprudence of placing themselves under foreign control.
That this was no imaginary danger is shown by a correspondence which had
taken place some years earlier and has recently been brought to light.
It will be remembered that the great aim of Weishaupt and the Illuminati
of the eighteenth century was to obtain control over all existing
masonic and occult Orders, This also became the dream of Rudolf Steiner
and his allies in other countries, whose plan was to form what they
called an "International Bund." The idea of an International Bureau for
Masonic Affairs had already, as we have seen, been started in
Switzerland; this was the same idea applied to occult groups, so that
all such societies as Rosicrucianism, Theosophy with its various
ramifications of Co-Masonry, etc., Hermetic Orders, isolated occultists,
and so on, were to be placed under German control. The audacity of the
proposal seems to have been too much even for some of the most
internationally minded members of the Stella Matutina, and in the
discussion that took place it was pointed out that admirable as the
scheme might be, there was nevertheless some British spirit amongst
these Orders to be reckoned with. Even Mrs. Besant's followers, headed
by the Co-Masons, described as a group which "attracts a large number of
idle women who have leisure to take a little occultism with their
afternoon tea," might be liable to ask, "Who are these Germans to
interfere?" But the real obstacle to success was held to be British
Freemasonry, to which a certain number of students of occult science,
including all the members of the S.R.I.A., belonged. "English Masonry,"
it was remarked, "boasts the Grand Lodge of 1717, the Mother Lodge of
the World. They are a proud, jealous, autocratic body. Co-Masonry
derives from the Grand Orient of France, an illegitimate body according
to English ruling. No English Mason can work with Co-Masons.... If the
English Grand Lodge hears of anything called 'Esoteric Masonry' derived
from such sources, under chiefs once T.S. [Theosophical Society]
members, under a head in Berlin, it will not enquire who Dr. Steiner is
or what is the nature of his work, it will simply say, 'No English
Masons of the Free and Accepted Masons may join any Society working
pseudo-Masonic rites, i.e. no one of ordinary accepted Freemasonry can
attend any meetings or attend any grades in this illegitimate body.'
Finis!... If a lodge of the Continental Order is to be established in
England, Dr. Steiner will be faced with the Masonic difficulty. This is
really serious...."[727]

Here then is one of the finest tributes ever paid to British Masonry,
for it shows that as at present constituted and controlled it provides
the most formidable barrier against the infiltration of this country by
alien or subversive secret societies. Thus the Freemasons and the Roman
Catholics are recognized as the principal obstacles to success. The
Freemasons, however, would do well to realize the attempts that are made
to break down this resistance by traitors in the Masonic camp, who,
after violating their obligations by belonging to an irregular secret
society, act as recruiting agents in the lodges. For the author of these
remarks was a British Freemason who, in collusion with a foreign adept,
proposed to penetrate Freemasonry by the process known in revolutionary
language as "boring from within." To quote his own words, "_They must be
got at from within, not from without_." This was to be accomplished in
various ways--by adepts of the Continental Order getting themselves
initiated into orthodox Masonry and then spreading their own doctrines
in the lodges, or by enlisting recruits amongst orthodox Masons and
using them as propagandists among their brother-Masons. It was also
suggested that in order not to rouse suspicion it would be better to
avoid the name "Esoteric Masonry," to adopt one of the rituals used in
England, and to employ as "officers" a "mixed group" drawn from various
secret societies. This plan has been carried out with considerable
success, and at a recent conference held by a high Continental adept
under the most distinguished patronage, it was interesting to notice the
various secret societies represented by certain of the promoters, who of
course to the general public appeared to be merely isolated individuals
interested in philosophical speculation. But it is time to pass on to
the question of yet another secret association, for amongst those
present at the Conference referred to were members of the group Clarte.

This society, of which the name as well as its avowed aims are
singularly reminiscent of Illuminism, was first heard of in France and
was led by men who carried on active anti-patriotic propaganda
throughout the war. Amongst these was Henri Barbusse, author of _Le
Feu_, a defeatest novel which was received with acclamations from
"illuminated" reviewers in the press of this country. Yet although
outwardly a French organization, the real inspiration and teaching of
_Clarte_ is essentially German-Jewish and a great number of Jews are to
be found amongst its members, particularly in Central Europe. At the
inaugural meeting of the Austrian group it was stated that 80 per cent.
of those present were of the Jewish race. The keynote of _Clarte_ is
Internationalism--abolition of nationality, destruction of frontiers,
and pacifism or rather the substitution of class warfare for war
between nations. For this purpose it is willing to make use of all
subversive doctrines, to whatever school of thought they may belong.
Hence, although the creed of the leaders is professedly Socialism, they
readily co-operate with Syndicalists, Anarchists, or revolutionaries of
any brand, carrying on propaganda in Trade Unions and various workers'
organizations; some are secretly in the ranks of the Communists. In fact
members of _Charte_ have succeeded in penetrating into almost every
subversive group, even as far afield as New Zealand, where the society
has an agency in Wellington and disseminates the most violent
revolutionary teaching and literature.

But whilst thus making use of the "proletariat" to further its ends, the
point of view of _Clarte_ is fundamentally undemocratic--for the real
grievances of the workers it has no use at all. The plan of this
group--who were recently described in the French press as "the finest
specimens of cannibals smeared with humanitarianism (les plus beaux
specimens de cannibales barbouilles d'humanitairerie)"--is to constitute
a sort of International Hierarchy of Intellectual Socialists, whose
influence is to make itself invisibly felt in literary, educational, and
artistic circles all over the world. For the members of _Clarte_ are as
careful as were the adepts of Weishaupt to preserve their incognito and
not to be known as "Illuminati." Thus the public in our own country and
elsewhere, reading the diatribes of certain well-known authors against
the existing order of society, may vaguely wonder why men living amidst
all the amenities of civilization should desire its destruction, but do
not dream that all this is not the outcome of an individual brain but
propaganda put out by a company which, having largely primed such
writers with ideas, is able, owing to the high position of many of its
leading members and its influence with the literary world, to ensure the
success of any publication that will further its ends.

The organization of _Clarte_ thus approximates more nearly, to the
system of Weishaupt than that of the other societies described in this
chapter. Although in the strictest sense a secret society, it is in no
sense occult and therefore possesses no ritual of its own, but, like the
earlier Illuminati, recognizes the utility of working through
Freemasonry. _Clarte_, in fact, forms an adjunct of the Grand Orient and
owns a lodge under its jurisdiction in Paris. It would be interesting,
however, to know whether the idea of the alliance with the Grand Orient
occurred as an afterthought to the _Clarte_ group or whether the
original inspiration of _Clarte_ emanated from an inner circle of the
Grand Orient. We shall return to the question of this inner circle in a
later chapter.

Such, then, are the principal secret societies at work in Great Britain,
but amongst minor secret or semi-secret movements may be mentioned the
strange sect the Faithists, said to have some affinity with the Druses,
inhabiting a singularly unromantic London suburb, whose "Ancient
Founder" is the author of a series of tracts urging man not to be misled
by false Gods, but to worship "Jehovih the Creator only," and at the
same time advocating nationalization as a cure for all social ills; or
again The Institute for the Harmonious Development of Man at
Fontainebleau, led by Gurdjieff and Uspenski which combines esoteric
meditation with an extremely meagre diet and strenuous manual labour. It
is interesting, by the way, to notice that the art of movement known as
Eurhythmy--not to be confounded with the system of M. Dalcroze which is
known in England only as Eurhythmics--forms an important part of the
curriculum of the last society, as also of Herr Steiner's Order, of the
Stella Matutina, and of the Russian Bolsheviks.[728]

The one question that presents itself to the judicial mind after
examining all these movements, is inevitably: Are they of any real
importance? Can a few hundreds, or even thousands, of men and women,
drawn largely by curiosity or want of occupation into societies of which
the very names are hardly known to the general public, exercise any
influence on the world at large? It would certainly be an error to
overestimate the power that each of these societies individually can
wield; to do so would be, in fact, to play into the hands of the
leaders, whose plan, from Weishaupt onwards, has always been to
represent themselves as directing the destinies of the universe. This
claim to power is the bait laid for neophytes, who are made to believe
that "the Order will one day rule the world." But, whilst recognizing
the folly of this pretension, we should be mistaken in underrating their
importance, for the reason that they provide evidence of a larger
organization in the background. The Stella Matutina may be only an
obscure Fraternity, even the Theosophical Society with all its
ramifications[729] may not be of great importance in itself, but will
anyone with a knowledge of European affairs seriously maintain that the
Grand Orient is a small or unimportant organization? And have we not
seen that investigations into the smaller secret societies frequently
lead back to this greater masonic power? Secret societies are of
importance, because they are, moreover, symptomatic, and also because,
although the work actually carried out in their lodges or councils may
be of a trivial character, they are able by the power of association and
the collective force they generate to influence public opinion and to
float ideas in the outside world which may have far-reaching

At any rate, the fact that they exist finally disposes of the contention
that secret societies of a subversive and even of an abominable kind are
things of the past. These amazing cults, these strange perverted rites
which we associate with the dark ages, are going on around us to-day.
Illuminism, Cabalism, and even Satanism are still realities. In 1908
Monsieur Copin Albancelli stated that circumstances had afforded him the
proof that--

     certain Masonic societies exist which are Satanic, not in the sense
     that the devil comes to preside at their meetings, as that romancer
     of a Leo Taxil pretended, but in that their initiates profess the
     cult of Lucifer. They adore him as the true God, and they are
     animated by an implacable hatred against the Christian God, whom
     they declare to be an impostor. They have a formula which sums up
     their state of mind; it is no longer: "To the glory of the Great
     Architect of the Universe," as in the two lower Masonries; it is
     G.'. E.'. A.'. A.'. L.'. H.'. H.'. H.'. A.'. D.'. M.'. M.'. M.'.,
     which means "Gloire et Amour a Lucifer! Haine! haine! haine! an Dieu
     maudit! maudit! maudit!" (Glory and Love for Lucifer! Hatred! hatred!
     hatred! to God, accursed, accursed, accursed!)

     It is professed in these societies that all that the Christian God
     commands is disagreeable to Lucifer; that all that He forbids is,
     on the contrary, agreeable to Lucifer; that in consequence one must
     do all that the Christian God forbids and that one must shun like
     fire all that He commands. I repeat that with regard to all that, I
     have the proofs under my hand. I have read and studied hundreds of
     documents relating to one of these societies, documents that I have
     not permission to publish and which emanate from the members, men
     and women, of the group in question.[730]

I do not say that any society in England consciously practices this cult
of Satan, but I too have seen dozens of documents relating to occult
groups in this country which practise rites and evocations that lead to
illness, moral perversion, mental derangement, and even in some cases to
death. I have heard from the lips of initiates themselves accounts of
the terrible experiences through which they have passed; some have even
urged me to bring the matter before the attention of the authorities.
But unfortunately no department exists for the investigation of
subversive movements. Yet since all these movements are intimately
connected with revolutionary agitation they are well worth the attention
of Governments that desire to protect law, order, and public morality.
The fact is that the very extravagance of their doctrines and practices
seems to ensure their immunity. Nevertheless, whether the power at work
behind them is of the kind we are accustomed to call "supernatural," or
whether it is merely the outcome of the human mind, there can be no
doubt of its potency for evil and of its very definite effects in the
obliteration of all sense of truth and in sexual perversion.

In the opinion of an initiate who belonged for years to the Stella
Matutina, the dynamic force employed known as "Kundalini" is simply an
electro-magnetic force, of which the sex-force is a part, on which the
adepts know how to play, and "the unseen hand behind all the seeming
Spiritism of these Orders is a system of very subtle and cunning
hypnotism and suggestion." Further, the aim of this group like that of
all subversive Esoteric Orders, is, by means of such processes as
eurhythmics, meditations, symbols, ceremonies, and formulas, to awaken
this force and produce false "Illumination" for the purpose of obtaining
"Spiritual Seership," which is at most clairvoyance, clairaudience, etc.
The ceremonies of the Order are hypnotic, and by suggestion create the
necessary mental and astral atmosphere, hypnotize and prepare the
members to be the willing tools in the hands of the controlling adepts.
The same initiate has communicated to me the following conclusions
concerning the group in question, with the permission to quote them

     I have been convinced that we, as an Order, have come under the
     power of some very evil occult Order, profoundly versed in science
     both occult and otherwise, though not infallible, their methods
     being Black Magic, that is to say, electro-magnetic power,
     hypnotism, and powerful suggestion.

     We are convinced that the Order is being controlled by some SUN
     Order after the nature of the Illuminati, if not by that Order

     The reason why they (the leaders of all such Orders) insisted so
     much upon the Church and Sacrament, especially before the
     initiation, is, I think, for the same reason as the use of the
     consecrated Host in Black Magic. The Christian consecration and the
     use of the sacraments renders the building or person more powerful
     as a material basis for black magic even as in white magic--"for
     the Great Good or the Great Evil." When the initiation is
     accomplished and the domination of the person complete, there is no
     further need for Church or Sacrament.

     We are told at the Initiation: "There is nothing incompatible with
     your civil, moral, or religious duties in this obligation." We now
     are convinced that this Order is contrary absolutely to our civil,
     moral, and religious duties; which being so, our obligations are
     null and void.

     We are told that all that has taken place in Russia and elsewhere
     is due to these International Occult Forces set in motion by
     Subversive Esoteric Lodges. Yet it is known that we have several
     branches of these same Esoteric Masonic Lodges carrying on their
     deadly work in our midst. England, as well as Europe, seems to be
     drifting along in a hypnotic sleep, and even our soundest
     politicians seem paralysed and all that they attempt is turned to
     foolishness. Is there no one in authority who understands these
     things and realizes the danger both to the country and to
     individuals from these forces working for disruption and world

How in the face of these declarations, coming from those inside the
movement, can anyone maintain that Illuminism is dead and that secret
societies present no danger to Christian civilization?



Although the sceptical reader who has reached this stage of the present
work will perhaps be willing to admit that some connexion may be traced
between hidden forces and open subversive movements, the objection he
will still raise against the general thesis here set forth will probably
be expressed somewhat in the following manner:

"It is quite possible that secret societies and other unseen agencies
may have played a part in revolutions, but to attribute the continued
revolt against the existing social order to these causes is absurd.
Poverty, unemployment, inadequate housing, and above all the
inequalities of human life are quite sufficient to produce a
revolutionary spirit without the aid of secret instigators. Social
revolution is simply a rising of the 'have-nots' against the 'haves,'
and requires no further cause to explain it."

Let it be at once admitted that the injustices here enumerated are real.
The working classes throughout the nineteenth century had very genuine
reasons for complaints. Wages were far too low, the rich sometimes
showed themselves indifferent to the sufferings of the poor, employers
of labour often made profits out of all proportion to the remuneration
paid to the workers. Nor, in spite of the immense reforms introduced
during the last hundred years, have all these grievances been redressed.
The slums of our great cities still constitute a blot upon our
civilization. Profiteering since the beginning of the war has been more
flagrant than ever. "Rings" and combines provide fabulous wealth for
individuals or groups at the expense of vast numbers of consumers. And
in all classes of the community, just as before the French Revolution,
people feast and dance whilst others live on the border-line of

But let us see how far the Socialist movement can be regarded as the
spontaneous revolt of the "people" against this condition of things.
Dividing the people after the manner of Marx into the non-revolutionary
and the "revolutionary proletariat," we shall find that the former
category, by far the larger, combines with a strong respect for
tradition a perfectly reasonable desire for social reform. Briefly it
asks for adequate wages, decent housing, and a fair share of the good
things of life. For State interference in the affairs of everyday life
it feels nothing but abhorrence. The ideal of Communism as formulated by
Lenin, wherein "the getting of food and clothing shall be no longer a
private affair,"[731] would meet with stronger opposition from working
men--and still more from working women, to whom "shopping" is as the
breath of life--than from any other section of the population. Even such
apparently benign Socialist schemes as "communal dining-rooms" or
"communal kitchens" appeal less to the working-class mentality than to
the upper-class mind that devises them.

Turning to the "revolutionary proletariat," we shall find this
individualistic instinct quite as strongly developed. It is not the
Socialist idea of placing all wealth and property in the hands of the
State, but the Anarchist plan of "expropriation," of plunder on a
gigantic scale for the benefit of the revolutionary masses, which really
appeals to the disgruntled portion of the proletariat. The Socialist
intellectual may write of the beauties of nationalization, of the joy of
working for the common good without hope of personal gain; the
revolutinary working man sees nothing to attract him in all this.
Question him on his ideas of social transformation, and he will
generally express himself in favour of some method by which he will
acquire something he has not got; he does not want to see the rich man's
motor-car socialized by the State--he wants to drive about in it
himself. The revolutionary working man is thus in reality not a
Socialist but an Anarchist at heart. Nor in some cases is this
unnatural. That the man who enjoys none of the good things of life
should wish to snatch his share must at least appear comprehensible.
What is not comprehensible is that he should wish to renounce all hope
of ever possessing anything. Modern Socialist propagandists are very
well aware of this attitude of the working classes towards their
schemes, and therefore that as long as they explain the real programme
they mean to put into operation, which is nothing but the workhouse
system on a gigantic scale, they can meet with no success. As a
life-long Socialist has frequently observed to me, "Socialism has never
been a working-class movement; it was always we of the middle or upper
classes who sought to instil the principles of Socialism into the minds
of working men." Mr. Hyndman's candid confessions of the failures to
enlist the sympathies even of slum-dwellers in his schemes of social
regeneration bear out this testimony.

Less honest Socialist orators as the result of long experience have
therefore adopted the more effectual policy of appealing to the
predatory instincts of the crowd. From Babeuf onwards, Socialism has
only been able to make headway by borrowing the language of Anarchy in
order to blast its way to power.

Socialism is thus essentially a system of deception devised by
middle-class theorists and in no sense a popular creed. Had the
revolutionary movement of the past 150 years really proceeded from the
people, it would inevitably have followed the line laid down by one of
the two sections of the proletariat indicated above, that is to say, it
would either have taken the form of a continuous and increasing
agitation for social reforms which would have enlisted the sympathy of
all right-thinking men and must therefore in the end have proved
irresistible, or it would have followed the line of Anarchy, organizing
brigandage on a larger and yet larger scale, until, all owners of wealth
having been exterminated and their expropriators in their turn
exterminated by their fellows, the world would have been reduced to a
depopulated desert.

But the world revolution has followed neither of these lines. Always the
opponent of sane social reforms which Socialists deride as "melioration"
or as futile attempts to shore up an obsolete system, it has
consistently disassociated itself from such men as Lord Shaftesbury, who
did more to better the conditions of the working classes than anyone who
has ever lived. Anarchy, on the other hand, has been used by them merely
as a means to an end; for genuine revolutionary sentiment they have no
use at all. In Russia the Anarchists became the first objects of Soviet
vengeance. The cynical attitude of Socialists towards the revolutionary
proletariat was illustrated by Mr. Bernard Shaw, who in December 1919
openly boasted that he had helped to organize the railway strike,[732]
and two years later wrote about the miners' strike in the following

     A Socialist State would not tolerate such an attack on the
     community as a strike for a moment. If a Trade Union attempted such
     a thing, the old Capitalist law against Trade Unions as
     conspiracies would be re-enacted within twenty-four hours and put
     ruthlessly into execution. Such a monstrosity as the recent coal
     strike, during which the coal-miners spent all their savings in
     damaging their neighbours and wrecking the national industries,
     would be impossible under Socialism. It was miserably defeated, as
     it deserved to be.[733]

Now, if this had been written by the Duke of Northumberland in the
_National Review_ instead of by Mr. Bernard Shaw in the _Labour
Monthly_, one can imagine the outcry there would have been in the
Socialist press. But the leaders of what is called democracy may always
use what language they please in speaking of the people. "Our peasants,"
Maxim Gorky openly declared, "are brutal and debased, hardly human. I
hate them."[734] It will be noticed that in descriptions of the French
Revolution references to the savageries of the people are never resented
by the Liberal or Socialist press; the persons of the leaders alone are
sacred. It is clearly not the cause of democracy but of demagogy that
these champions of "liberty" are out to defend.

The world-revolution is therefore not a popular movement but a
conspiracy to impose on the people a system directly opposed to their
real demands and aspirations, a system which, moreover, has proved
disastrous every time an attempt has been made to put it into practice.

Russia has provided a further example of its futility. The fact that the
more responsible leaders in this country do not advocate violence, does
not affect the ultimate issue. Whilst Bolshevism sets out to destroy
Capitalism at a blow, Socialism prefers a more gradual process. It is
the difference between clubbing a man on the head and bleeding him to
death--that is all.

The fact is that all Socialism leads to Communism in the long run[735]
and therefore to disaster. The Bolshevist regime brought ruin and misery
to Russia not because of the brutality of its methods, but because it
was founded on the gigantic economic fallacy that industry can be
carried on without private enterprise and personal initiative. The same
theory applied by constitutional methods would produce precisely the
same results. If the Socialists are ever allowed to carry out their full
programme, England may be reduced to the state of Russia without the
shedding of a drop of blood.

But how are we to explain the fact that in spite of the failure of
Socialism in the past, in spite of the gigantic fiasco presented by
Russia, in spite, moreover, of the declaration by the Bolsheviks
themselves that Communism had failed and must be replaced by "a new
economic policy," that is to say by a return to "Capitalism,"[736]
there should still be a large and increasing body of people to proclaim
the efficacy of Socialism as the remedy for all social ills? In any
other field of human experiment, in medicine or mechanical invention,
failure spells oblivion; the prophylactic that does not cure, the
machine that cannot be made to work, is speedily relegated to the
scrap-heap. What indeed should we say of the bacteriologist, who, after
killing innumerable patients with a particular serum, were to advertise
it as an unqualified success? Should we not brand such a man as an
unscrupulous charlatan or at best as a dangerous visionary? If,
moreover, we were to find that large bands of agents backed by unlimited
funds, were engaged in pressing his remedy upon the public and carefully
avoiding all reference to the fatalities it had caused, should we not
further conclude that there was "something behind all this"--some
powerful company "running" the concern with a view to advancing its own
private interests?

Why should not the same reasoning be applied to Socialism? For not only
has Socialism never been known to succeed, but all its past failures are
carefully kept dark by its exponents. Who, then, stands to gain by
advocating it? And further, who provides the vast sums spent on
propaganda? If in reality Socialism is a rising of the "have-nots"
against the "haves," how is it that most of the money seems to be on
the side of the "have-nots"? For whilst organizations working for law
and order are hampered at every turn for funds, no financial
considerations ever seem to interfere with the activities of the
so-called "Labour movement." Socialism, in fact, appears to be a
thoroughly "paying concern," into which a young man enters as he might
go into the City, with the reasonable expectation of "doing well." It is
only necessary to glance at the history of the past hundred years to
realize that "agitation" has provided a pleasant and remunerative career
for hundreds of middle-class authors, journalists, speakers, organizers,
and dilettantes of all kinds who would otherwise have been condemned to
pass their lives on office-stools or at schoolmasters' desks. And when
we read the accounts of the delightful treats provided for these
"devoted workers" in the cause of the proletariat as given in the
records of the First Internationale or the pages of Mrs. Snowden, we
begin to understand the attractions of Socialism as a profession.[737]

But again I repeat: _Who provides the funds for this vast campaign_? Do
they come out of the pockets of the workers or from some other
mysterious reservoir of wealth? We shall return to this point in a later

How is it possible at any rate to believe in the sincerity of the
exponents of equality who themselves adopt a style of living so
different from that of the proletariat whose cause they profess to
represent? If the doctrinaires of Socialism formed a band of ascetics
who had voluntarily renounced luxury and amusement in order to lead
lives of poverty and self-sacrifice--as countless really devoted men and
women _not_ calling themselves Socialists have done--we should still
doubt the soundness of their economic theories as applied to society in
general, but we should respect their disinterestedness. But with very
few exceptions Socialist Intellectuals dine and sup, feast and amuse
themselves with as few scruples of conscience as any unregenerate

With people such as these it is obviously as futile to reason, as it
would be to attempt to convince the agent of a quack medicine company
that the nostrums he presses on the public will not effect a cure. He is
very well aware of that already. Hence the efforts of well-meaning
people to set forth in long, well-reasoned arguments the "fallacies of
Socialism" produce little or no result. All these so-called "fallacies"
have been exposed repeatedly by able writers and disproved by all
experience, so that if based merely on ignorance or error they would
long since have ceased to obtain credence. The truth is that they are
not fallacies but lies, deliberately devised and circulated by men who
do not believe in them for a moment and who can therefore only be
described as unscrupulous charlatans exploiting the credulity of the

But if this description may be legitimately applied to the brains behind
Socialism and to certain of its leading doctrinaires, there are
doubtless thousands of honest visionaries to be found in the movement. A
system that professes to cure all the ills of life inevitably appeals to
generous minds that feel but do not reason. In reality many of these
people, did they but know it, are simply social reformers at heart and
not Socialists at all, and their ignorance of what Socialism really
means leads them to range themselves under the banner of a party that
claims a monopoly of ideals. Others again, particularly amongst the
young intelligentsia, take up Socialism in the same spirit as they would
adopt a fashion in ties or waistcoats, for fear of being regarded as
"reactionaries." That in reality, far from being "advanced," the
profession of Socialism is as retrogressive as would be a return to the
side-whiskers and plaid trousers of the last century, does not occur to
them. The great triumph of Mussolini was to make the youth of Italy
realize that to be a Communist was to be a "back number," and that
progress consisted in marching forward to new ideas and aspirations. The
young men of Cabet's settlement discovered this sixty years ago when
they formed themselves into a band of "Progressives" in opposition to
the old men who still clung to the obsolete doctrine of Communism.

Socialism at the present moment is in reality less a creed than a cult,
founded not on practical experience but on unreal theory. It is here we
find a connexion with secret societies. M. Augustin Cochin in his
brilliant essays on the French Revolution[738] has described that "World
of the Clouds" of which the Grand Orient was the capital, peopled by the
precursors of the French Revolution. "Whilst in the real world the
criterion of all thought lies in putting it to the test," there in the
World of the Clouds the criterion is opinion. "They are there to talk,
not to do; all this intellectual agitation, this immense traffic in
speeches, writings, correspondence, leads not to the slightest beginning
of work, of real effort." We should be wrong to judge them harshly;
their theories on the perfectibility of human nature, on the advantages
of savagery, which appear to us "dangerous chimeras," were never
intended to apply to real life, only to the World of the Clouds, where
they present no danger but become, on the contrary, "the most fecund

The revolutionary explosion might well have finally shattered these
illusions but for the Grand Orient. We have already seen the identity of
theory between French Masonry and French Socialism in the nineteenth
century. It was thus that, although in France one experiment after
another demonstrated the unreality of Socialist Utopias, the lodges were
always there to reconstruct the mirage and lead humanity on again across
the burning desert sands towards the same phantom palm-trees and
illusory pools of water.

Whatever the manner in which these ideas penetrated to this
country--whether through the Radicals of the last century, adorers of
the Encyclopaedist Masons of France, or through the British disciples of
German Social Democrats from the time of the First Internationale
onwards--it is impossible to ignore the resemblance between the theories
not only of French but of modern British Socialism and the doctrines of
illuminized Freemasonry. Thus the idea running through Freemasonry of a
Golden Age before the Fall, when man was free and happy, and which
through the application of masonic principles is to return once more,
finds an exact counterpart in the Socialist conception of a past halcyon
era of Liberty and Equality, which is to return not merely in the form
of a regenerated social order, but as a complete Millennium from which
all the ills of human life have been eliminated. This idea has always
haunted the imagination of Socialist writers from Rousseau to William
Morris, and leads directly up to the further theory--the necessity for
destroying civilization.

I cannot find in Mr. Lothrop Stoddart's conception of the revolutionary
movement as the revolt of the "Under Man" against civilization, the
origin of this campaign. In reality the leaders of world-revolution have
not been "Under Men," victims of oppression or of adverse fate, nor
could they be ranged in this category on account of physical or mental
inferiority. It is true that most revolutionary agitators have been in
some way abnormal and that the revolutionary army has largely been
recruited from the unfit, but the real inspirers of the movement have
frequently been men in prosperous circumstances and of brilliant
intellect who might have distinguished themselves on other lines had
they not chosen to devote their talents to subversion. To call
Weishaupt, for example, an "Under Man" would be absurd. But let us see
what is the idea on which the plan of destroying civilization is
ostensibly founded.

It will be remembered that Rousseau like Weishaupt held that the Golden
Age of felicity did not end in the garden of Eden, as is popularly
supposed, but was prolonged into tribal and nomadic life. Up to this
moment Communism was the happy disposition under which the human race
existed and which vanished with the introduction of civilization.
Civilization is therefore the _fons et origo mali_ and should be done
away with. Let no one exclaim that this theory died out either with
Rousseau or with Weishaupt; the idea that "civilization is all wrong"
runs all through the writings and speeches of our Intellectual
Socialists to-day. I have referred elsewhere to Mr. H.G. Wells's
prediction that mankind will more and more revert to the nomadic life,
and Mr. Snowden has recently referred in tones of evident nostalgia to
that productive era when man "lived under a system of tribal
Communism."[739] The children who attend the Socialist Schools are also
taught in the "Red Catechism" the advantages of savagery, thus:

Question. Do savages starve in the midst of plenty?

Answer. No; when there is plenty of food they all rejoice, feast, and
make merry.[740]

That when there is not plenty of food they occasionally eat each other
is not mentioned.

Here, then, is the theory on which this yearning for a return to nature
is based. For it is quite probable that if a Golden Age ever existed it
was Communistic; it is also true that certain primitive tribes have
found it possible to continue the same system, for the simple reason
that when and where the earth was very thinly populated it brought
forth, without the artificial aid of agriculture, more than enough to
supply each man's needs. There was therefore no need for laws to protect
property, since every man could help himself freely to all that he
required. If at the present time a dozen people were shipwrecked on a
fertile island some miles in area, the institution of property would be
equally superfluous; if, however, several hundred were to share the same
fate, it would at once become necessary to institute some system of
cultivation which in its turn would necessitate either the institution
of property, by which each man would depend on his own plot of land for
his existence, or a communal system, by which all would be obliged to
work for the common good and force applied to those who refused to do
their allotted share.

Peaceful Communism is thus simply a matter of population; the conditions
under which men can sit in the sun and enjoy the fruits of the earth
with little effort must be transformed with the multiplication of the
human species into a system which recognizes private property, or a
communal State which enforces compulsory labour by means of overseers
with whips. It was perhaps an appreciation of this truth that impelled
the practical exponents of Rousseau's doctrines, the Terrorists of 1793,
to embark on their "plan of depopulation" by way of establishing
Communism on a peaceful basis.

But our Intellectual Socialists deny this necessity on the ground that
under the benign regime of Socialism all men would be good and happy and
would work joyfully for the welfare of the community. The fact that this
has not proved the case even in voluntary Communist settlements does not
daunt them, because, as has been said, their creed is founded not on
practical experiment, but on theory, and it is here that we again find
the inspiration of Grand Orient Freemasonry. The assumption that under
an ideal social order all human failings would vanish derives directly
from the two masonic doctrines which the Grand Orient, under the
influence of Illuminism, has brought to a _reductio ad absurdum_--the
perfectibility of human nature and universal brotherhood. The whole
philosophy of Socialism is built upon these false premises.

Indeed the actual phraseology of illuminized Freemasonry has now passed
into the language of Socialism; thus the old formulae of "the United
States of Europe" and "the Universal Republic" have been adopted not
only by Mrs. Besant and her followers[741] as the last word in modern
thought, but have also reappeared as a brilliant inspiration under the
pen of Mr. H.G. Wells in the slightly varied form of the "World State."
It would be amusing, for anyone who had the time, to discover how many
of the ideas of our so-called advanced thinkers might be found almost
verbatim in the writings of Weishaupt, the _Republique Universelle_ of
Anacharsis Clootz, and in the speeches of Grand Orient orators during
the last century.

Moreover, the world-revolution is not only founded on the doctrines of
illuminized Freemasonry, but has adopted the same method of
organization. Thus, after the plan of the secret societies, from the
Batinis onward, we shall find the forces of revolution divided into
successive grades--the lowest consisting of the revolutionary
proletariat, the _chair a revolution_ as Marx expressed it, knowing
nothing of the theory of Socialism, still less of the real aims of the
leaders; above this the semi-initiates, the doctrinaires of Socialism,
comprising doubtless many sincere enthusiasts; but above these again
further grades leading up to the real initiates, who alone know whither
the whole movement is tending.

For the final goal of world-revolution is not Socialism or even
Communism, it is not a change in the existing economic system, it is not
the destruction of civilization in a material sense; the revolution
desired by the leaders is a moral and spiritual revolution, an anarchy
of ideas by which all standards set up throughout nineteen centuries
shall be reversed, all honoured traditions trampled under foot, and
above all the Christian ideal finally obliterated.

It is true that a certain section of the Socialist movement proclaims
itself Christian. The Illuminati made the same profession, so have the
modern Theosophists and Rosicrucians. But, as in the case of these
secret societies, we should ask of so-called Christian Socialists: What
do they means by Christ? What do they mean by Christianity? On
examination it will be found that their Christ is a being of their own
inventing, that their Christianity is a perversion of Christ's real

The Christ of Socialism invoked in the interests of Pacifism as the
opponent of force and in the interests of class warfare as a Socialist,
a revolutionary, or even an "agitator," bears no resemblance to the real
Christ. Christ was not a Pacifist when He told His disciples to arm
themselves with swords, when He made a scourge of cords and drove the
money-changers from the Temple. He did not tell men to forgive the
enemies of their country or of their religion, but only their private
enemies. Christ was not a Socialist when He declared that "a man's life
consisteth not in the abundance of the things that he possesseth."
Socialism teaches that a man must never rest content as long as another
man possesses that which he has not. Christ did not believe in equality
of payment when He told the parable of the ten talents and the
unprofitable servant. Socialism would reduce all labour to the pace of
the slowest. Above all, Christ was not a Socialist when He bade the
young man who had great possessions sell all that he had and give it to
the poor. _What School of Socialism has ever issued such a command?_ On
the contrary, Socialists are enjoined by their leaders not to give their
money away in charity lest they should help by this means to prolong the
existence of the present social system. The truth is that, as I showed
in connexion with the fallacy of representing Christ as an Essene, there
is no evidence to show that He or His disciples practised even the
purest form of Communism. Christ did not advocate any economic or
political system; He preached a spirit which if applied to any system
would lead to peace among men. It is true that He enjoined His disciples
to despise riches and that He denounced many of the rich men with whom
He came into contact, but it must not be forgotten that His immediate
mission was to a race that had always glorified riches, that had
worshipped the golden calf, and by which wealth was regarded as the
natural reward of godliness.[742] Christ came to teach men not to look
for present reward in the form of increased material welfare, but to do
good out of love to God and one's neighbour.

I do not doubt that in the past such men as Kingsley and J.F.D. Maurice
sincerely imagined that they were following in the footsteps of the
Master by describing themselves as Christian Socialists, but that the
present leaders of Socialism in England are Christians at heart is
impossible to believe in view of their attitude towards the campaign
against Christianity in Russia. Never once have they or their allies,
the Quakers, officially denounced the persecution not only of the
priests but of all who profess the Christian faith in Russia.[743] Listen
to this voice from the abyss of Russia:

     We very much ask for prayer for the Church of Russia; it is passing
     through great tribulation and it is a question whether spiritual or
     earthly power will triumph. Many are being executed for not denying
     God.... Those placed by God at the helm need all the prayer and
     help of Christians all over the earth, because their fate is partly
     theirs too, for it is a question of faith triumphing over atheism,
     and it is a tug-of-war between those two principles.[744]

And again:

     I look upon the persecution of the Russian Church as an effort to
     overthrow Christianity in general, for we are governed just now by
     the power of darkness, and all that we consider sinful seems to get
     the upper hand and to prosper.[744]

Yet it is for this power that the Socialist Party of Great Britain have
for years been demanding recognition. Even the appeals for help from
their fellow-Socialists in Russia have left them cold. "We would
suggest," ran one such appeal--

     1. That the British Labour Party issue an official protest against
     the Soviet Government's inhuman treatment of its political
     opponents in general and the political prisoners in particular.

     2. That meetings of protest should be organized in the industrial
     towns of Great Britain.

     3. That the British Labour Party make an official representation to
     the Soviet Government directly, urging the latter to put a stop to
     the persecutions of the Socialists in Russia.[745]

And it was of this regime that Mr. Lansbury wrote:

     Whatever their faults, the Communist leaders of Russia have hitched
     their wagon to a star--the star of love, brotherhood,

The callous indifference displayed by British Socialists, with the
honourable exception of the Social Democratic Federation,[747] towards
the crimes of the Bolsheviks offers indeed a painful contrast to the
attitude of the other Socialists of Europe. At the conference of the
Labour and Socialist International at Hamburg in May 1923, a resolution
was passed condemning the persecution by the Soviet Government. When the
resolution was put to the congress, 196 voted for, 2 against it, and 39,
including the 30 British delegates, abstained.

I ask, then: Why should the Socialists of Great Britain be
differentiated from the Bolsheviks of Russia? In every question of
importance they have always lent them their support. In the great war on
Christianity they have acted as the advance guard by the institution of
Socialist Sunday-schools, from which all religious teaching is excluded.
Socialists are very anxious to disassociate these from the "Proletarian"
Sunday-schools which teach atheism. But from ignoring the existence of
God to denying it is but a step; moreover, it will be noticed that the
Socialists have never issued any protests against the blasphemies of the
Proletarian schools. The real attitude of the Socialist Party towards
religion may perhaps be gauged by the notice, reproduced on page 341,
which once appeared in its official organ the _Daily Herald_, of which
Mr. Lansbury, widely advertised as a fervent Christian, was once editor
and is now managing director.

It was to the party controlling this organ that 700 clergymen of the
Church of England and the Episcopal Church of Scotland saw fit to offer
their congratulations by means of a memorial presented to Mr. Ramsay
MacDonald in March 1923. Shall we yet see the scene of Brumaire 1793
repeated and a procession of prelates presenting themselves at
Westminster to lay down their rings and crosses and declare that
"henceforth there shall be no other worship than that of liberty and
holy equality"?

Already the desecration of the churches has begun. The red flag was
recently carried into the City Temple by a band of unemployed, although
several of their number objected to its presence in the church. An
attempt to sing "The Red Flag" was also suppressed by a section of the


Books We All Pretend to have Read

The Bible is a real book, although during the whole of the nineteenth
century the Churches turned a blind eye to the fact that it was a free
translation by Jacobean clergymen of a Greek text of doubtful
authenticity and of multiple authorship. The Bible is as divinely
inspired as Shakespeare, or Milton, or Anatole France. But it is not as
"pure" as the texts of these authors, for it is:--

    (1) A miscellaneous collection of folk and traditional history bound
    to and described as the "Old Testament," and

    (2) "The New Testament," a collection of Eastern theological
    doctrines centralized in the figure of a great Syrian mystic
    religious teacher, Jesus.

Those who will go to the Bible with an unprejudiced mind will discover
that it is one of the great books of the world, full of beauty, humour,
and aspiration, and disfigured, as great books often are, by occasional
brutalities and crudities.--_Daily Herald_, February 7. 1923.


themselves, who had apparently retained some sense ot decency.[748]

Weishaupt's design of enlisting the clergy in the work of
world-revolution has been carried out according to plan. Those Catholic
priests in Ireland who inflamed popular passions acted as the tools of
the International Atheist conspiracy and found at last the movement
turning against themselves. The Protestant clergymen who profess
"Christian Socialism" are playing the same part. Doubtless without
knowing it, they act as the agents of the Continental Illuminati and
pave the way, as did the emissaries of Weishaupt, for the open attack on
all forms of religion. It is not a mere accident that the blasphemous
masquerades of the French Revolution have recently been repeated in
Russia. The horrible incidents described in the press[749] were simply
the outward manifestation of a continuous conspiracy of which evidence
was seen some years ago in Portugal under the influence of the
Carbonarios, led by Alfonso Costa, whose utterances at times bore a
striking resemblance to those of Anacharsis Clootz. The late Duchess of
Bedford thus described the war on religion which inaugurated the new

One of the most zealous enterprises of this great society [the
Carbonarios] is, in their own words, to exterminate "the Christian myth"
in the minds of the nation of Portugal. The little children in the
schools have badges pinned into their clothes with the words "No God! No
religion!" and a British tourist who made a journey throughout the
country of Portugal met bands of innocent babes carrying banners, on
which the inscription was "We have no need of God."[750]

Is it only a coincidence that last year a Socialist and Communist
meeting in Trafalgar Square displayed a red banner bearing the motto:
"No King, no God, no Law"?[751]

I repeat: It is not an economic revolution which forms the plan of the
real directors of the movement, it is neither the "dictatorship of the
proletariat" nor the reorganization of society by the Intelligentsia of
"Labour"; it is the destruction of the Christian idea. Socialist orators
may inveigh against corrupt aristocracy or "bloated Capitalists," but
these are not in reality the people who will suffer most if the aim of
the conspiracy is achieved. The world-revolution has always shown itself
indulgent towards selfish and corrupt aristocrats, from the Marquis de
Sade and the Duc d'Orleans onwards; it is the gentle, the upright, the
benevolent, who have fallen victims to revolutionary fury.

Socialism with its hatred of all superiority, of noble virtues--loyalty
and patriotism--with its passion for dragging down instead of building
up, serves the purpose of the deeper conspiracy. If the Christian
Intelligentsia can be destroyed or won over and the nation deprived of
all its natural leaders, the world-revolutionaries reckon that they will
be able to mould the proletariat according to their desires. This being
so, the thing we now call Bolshevism forms only one phase of the
movement which is carried on by countless different methods, apparently
disconnected but all tending towards the same end. We have only to look
around us in the world to-day to see everywhere the same disintegrating
power at work--in art, literature, the drama, the daily press--in every
sphere that can influence the mind of the public. Just as in the French
Revolution a play on the massacre of St. Bartholomew was staged in order
to rouse the passions of the people against the monarchy, so our modern
cinemas perpetually endeavour to stir up class hatred by scenes and
phrases showing "the injustice of kings," "the sufferings of the
people," the selfishness of "aristocrats," regardles of whether these
enter into the theme of the narrative or not.[752] And in the realms of
literature, not merely in works of fiction but in manuals for schools,
in histories and books professing to be of serious educative value and
receiving a skilfully organized boom throughout the press, everything is
done to weaken patriotism, to shake belief in all existing institutions
by the systematic perversion of both contemporary and historical facts,
whilst novels and plays calculated to undermine all ideas of morality
are pressed upon the public as works of genius which, in order to
maintain a reputation for intellect, it is essential to admire. I do not
believe that all this is accidental; I do not believe that the public
asks for the anti-patriotic or demoralizing books and plays placed
before it; on the contrary, it invariably responds to an appeal to
patriotism and simple healthy emotions. The heart of the people is still
sound, but ceaseless efforts are made to corrupt it.

This conspiracy has long been apparent to Continental observers. Some
years before the war, Monsieur de Lannoy, a member of an anti-masonic
association in France, at a conference on "the influence of
judaeo-masonic sects in the theatre, in literature, in the fashions,"
showed how "orders of things which appear to have no connexion with
each other are skilfully bound up together and directed by a single
methodical movement towards a common end. This common end is the
paganization of the universe, the destruction of all Christianity, the
return to the loosest morals of antiquity."[753] Robison saw in the
indecent dress of the period of the Directory the result of Weishaupt's
teaching, and traces to the same cause the ceremony which took place in
Notre Dame when a woman of loose morals was held up to the admiration of
the public.[754] The same glorification of vice has found exponents
amongst the modern Illuminati in this country. In _The Equinox--the
Journal of Scientific Illuminism_, it is proposed that prostitutes
should be placed on the same level as soldiers who have served their
country and be honoured and pensioned by the State.[755] The community
of women was not an idea that originated with the Russian Bolsheviks,
but one that has run through all the revolutionary movements of the

The attempt to pervert all conceptions of beauty in the sphere of art
serves to pave the way for moral perversion. In the _New York Herald_
two years ago there appeared a circular protesting against the so-called
Modernistic cult in art as "world-wide Bolshevist propaganda." The
circular went on to declare:

This aims to overthrow and destroy all existing social systems,
including that of the arts. This modernistic degenerate cult is simply
the Bolshevist philosophy applied in art. The triumph of Bolshevism
therefore means the destruction of the present aesthetic system, the
transportation of all aesthetic values, and the deification of ugliness.

The whole propaganda of the movement was said to be organized by "a
coterie of European art-dealers"--elsewhere described as German--who had
flooded the market with the works of artists who began as "a small group
of neurotic egomaniacs in Paris styling themselves worshippers of Satan,
the God of Ugliness." Some of these men were suffering from the "visual
derangement" of the insane, whilst "many of the pictures exhibited
another form of mania. The system of this is an incontrollable desire to
mutilate the human body." Sadism, as we know, played a prominent part in
both the French and Russian revolutions. The most important point in
all this is not that degenerates should be found to perpetrate these
abominations, but what the circular describes as the "Machiavellian
campaign organized for the unloading of these works. Editions de luxe
... were published and sold by the picture dealers; ...every crafty
device known to the picture trade was resorted to in order to discredit
and destroy the heretofore universally accepted standards of

This process of reversing all accepted standards may also be brought
about by subtler methods. We have already seen that occult practices may
lead to the obliteration of all sense of truth and of normal sexual
instincts. Under the influence of so-called occult science, which is, in
reality, simply powerful suggestion or self-hypnotism, all a man's
natural impulses and inhibitive springs of action may be broken; he will
no longer react to the conceptions of beauty or ugliness, or right or
wrong, which, unknown to himself, formed the law of his being. Thus not
only his conscious deeds but his subconscious mental processes may pass
under the control of another, or become entirely deranged.

Much the same consequences may result from the Freud system of
Psycho-Analysis, which, particularly by its insistence on sex, tends to
subordinate the will to impulses of a harmful kind. An eminent American
neuro-psychiatrist of New York has expressed his opinion on this subject
in the following words:

The Freud theory is anti-Christian and subversive of organized society.
Christianity teaches that the individual can resist temptation and
Freudism teaches that the matter of yielding to or resisting temptation
is one for which the individual is not wilfully responsible. Freudism
makes of the individual a machine, absolutely controlled by subconscious
reflexes.... It would of course be difficult to prove that
psycho-analysis has been evolved as a destructive propaganda measure,
but in one sense the point is immaterial. Whether conscious or
unconscious, it makes for destructive effect.[757]

In general, the art of the conspiracy is not so much to create movements
as to capture existing movements, often innocuous and even admirable in
themselves, and turn them to a subversive purpose. Thus birth control,
which--if combined with the restriction of alien immigration and carried
out under proper direction--would provide a solution to the frightful
problem of over-population, can without these provisos become a source
of national weakness and demoralization. It is easy to see how a
limitation of the native population would serve the cause of England's
enemies by reducing her fighting forces and by making room for
undesirable aliens. That the birth-control campaign may also be used for
evil purposes is suggested by the fact that it has not been confined to
our own overcrowded island, but has been carried on in France, where
under-population has long constituted a tragedy. In 1903 and 1904 the
"Ligue de la Regeneration Humaine," founded by Monsieur Paul Robin, in
its organ _L'Emancipateur_ issued not only instructions on "the means
how to avoid large families," but also pamphlets on "free love and free
maternity."[758] The campaign of race-suicide was thus combined with
the undermining of morality; legal families were to be limited and
illegal births encouraged. This was quite in accord with the doctrines
of the Grand Orient, in whose Temples, Monsieur Copin Albancelli points
out, the principle of "la libre maternite"--known in this country as
"the right to motherhood"--was advocated.

It is curious to notice that the apparently innocent invention of
Esperanto receives support from the same quarter. This is not surprising
since we know that the idea of a universal language has long haunted the
minds of Freemasons. I have myself seen a document emanating from a body
of French Masons stating that Esperanto is directly under the control of
the three masonic powers of France--the Grand Orient, the Grande Loge
Nationale, and the Droit Humain.

That it is largely used for promoting Bolshevism has been frequently
stated. In July 1922, M. Berard, Minister of Education, issued a
circular "to the heads of all French Universities, academies, and
colleges, calling on them not to help in any way in the teaching of
Esperanto on the ground that Bolsheviks use it as one of their dangerous
forms of propaganda."[759] A correspondent points out to me that
another universal language, Ido, is used for propaganda by the
Anarchists, and that several journals distributed by revolutionary
societies, written in Ido, are "frankly and baldly Anarchical." The
writer adds:

Last week I received a copy of _Libereso_ (Liberty), monthly organ of
the Anarchist Section of the "Emancipating Star"--"Cosmopolitan Union of
Labour-class Idists." It commands carrying out Anarchistic principles
to their extreme limits; commends "La Ruzo" (ruse); is sarcastic
regarding Socialism and Democracy.... It contains an appeal for help (in
money) for the Anarchists imprisoned in Russia ... written by Alexander
Berkmann and signed by him with Emma Goldmann and A. Schapiro.

Here, then, we have a revolutionary movement which is anti-Socialist and
even anti-Bolshevist, which tends to prove the opinion I have already
expressed, that Bolshevism is only one phase of the world-conspiracy.
But if we explain this by the old antagonism between the opposing
revolutionary camps of Anarchy and Socialism, how are we to account for
the fact that the same destructive purpose animates people who are
neither Anarchist nor Socialist, but can only be ranged in the category
of extreme reaction? Of this phase of the movement Nietzsche provides
the supreme example. In his imprecations against "the Crucified," the
advocate of autocracy and militarism rivals the most infuriated of
revolutionary Socialists. The whole spirit of perversion is contained in
the description of Nietzsche by his friend Georges Brandes: "His
thoughts stole inquisitively along forbidden paths: 'This thing passes
for a value. Can we not turn it upside-down? This is regarded as good.
Is it not rather evil?'" What is this but Satanism? The case of
Nietzsche is not to be explained away by the fact that he died raving
mad, since a number of apparently sane people still profess for him
unbounded admiration, and whilst deriding Socialism and even attacking
Bolshevism join in the war against Christian civilization. The
conspiracy therefore exists apart from so-called democratic circles.

Not long ago I picked up an Italian novel by an anti-Socialist
containing precisely the same diatribes against "Christian-bourgeois
society" that are to be found in Anarchist and Bolshevist literature.
"The family," says the author, "is the kernel of contemporary society
and its base. Whoever would really reform or subvert must begin by
reforming and subverting the family.... The family ... is the principal
path of all unhappiness, of all vice, of all hypocrisy, of all moral
ugliness, ..." and he goes on to show that the two countries which have
proved themselves the sanest and the strongest are Germany and America,
because they have advanced by long strides towards free love.[760]

The writer of these words may be of no importance, but they should be
noted because they are symptomatic and help us to locate certain centres
of infection.

It is impossible to observe all these miscellaneous movements going on
all around us without being struck by the similarity of aim between
them; each seems to form part of a common plan, which, like the separate
pieces of a jig-saw puzzle, convey no meaning, but when fitted together
make up a perfectly clear design. That there is somewhere in the
background a point of contact is suggested by the fact that we find
members of the different groups playing a double and a treble role, the
same name occurring in the list of patrons in a Birth Control paper and
in a revolutionary secret society, amongst the exponents of
Psycho-Analysis and the members of an Irish Republican Committee.

With the open as with the secret forces the great method of warfare is
the capture of public opinion. A hidden influence behind the press
contributes powerfully to this end. Some of the subtlest disintegrating
propaganda during the last seven years has emanated from the so-called
"Capitalist press." The _Daily Herald_ is only the brass band of the
Revolution. It is to the journals inspired and patronized by the
Intelligentsia that we must turn to find the doctrines of Illuminism set
forth with the most persuasive eloquence.[761]

More than eighty years ago a Frenchman endowed with extraordinary
prophetic instinct foretold not only the danger that would one day come
from Russia, but that the press would facilitate the destruction of

     When our cosmopolitan democracy, bearing its last fruits, shall
     have made of war a thing odious to whole populations, when the
     nations calling themselves the most civilized on earth shall have
     finished enervating themselves in their political debaucheries, ...
     the floodgates of the North will open on us once again, then we
     shall undergo a last invasion not of ignorant barbarians but of
     cunning and enlightened masters, more enlightened than ourselves,
     for they will have learnt from our own excesses how we can and must
     be governed.

     It is not for nothing that Providence piles up so many inactive
     forces in the East of Europe. One day the sleeping giant will arise
     and force will put an end to the reign of words. In vain, then,
     distracted equality will call the old aristocracy to the help of
     liberty; the weapon grasped again too late and wielded by hands too
     long inactive will have become powerless. Society will perish for
     having trusted to words void of sense or contradictory; then the
     deceitful echoes of public opinion, the newspapers, wishing at all
     costs to keep their readers, will push [the world] to ruin if only
     to have something to relate for a month longer. They will kill
     society to live upon its corpse.[762]

To-day the newspapers, no longer the echoes of public opinion but its
supreme directors, throw open their columns to every form of
disintegrating doctrine and close them to arguments that could
effectually arrest the forces of destruction.

What is the hidden influence behind the press, behind all the subversive
movements going on around us? Are there several Powers at work? Or is
there one Power, one invisible group directing all the rest--the circle
of the _real Initiates_?



We have seen in the course of this book that the idea of a secret power
working for world-revolution through both open movements and secret
societies, is not a new one, but dates from the eighteenth century. In
order to appreciate the continuity of this idea, let us recapitulate the
testimonies of contemporaries, some of which have been already quoted in
their context, but which when collected together and placed in
chronological order make up a very remarkable chain of evidence.

In 1789 the Marquis de Luchet warned France of the danger of the
Illuminati, whose object was world-domination.[763] In consequence of
this "gigantic project" de Luchet foresees "a series of calamities of
which the end is lost in the darkness of time, like unto those
subterranean fires of which the insatiable activity devours the bowels
of the earth and which escape into the air by violent and devastating

In 1794 the Duke of Brunswick in his manifesto to the German lodges

     A great sect arose, which, taking for its motto "the good and
     happiness of man," worked in the darkness of the conspiracy to make
     the happiness of humanity a prey for itself. This sect is known to
     everyone: its brothers are known no less than its name.... The plan
     they had formed for breaking all social ties and of destroying all
     order was revealed in their speeches and acts.... Indomitable
     pride, thirst of power, such were the only motives of this sect:
     their masters had nothing less in view than the thrones of the
     earth, and the government of the nations was to be directed by
     their nocturnal clubs.[765]

In 1797 Montjoie, writing of the Orleaniste conspiracy, to which in an
earlier work he had attributed the whole organization of the French
Revolution in its first stages, observed:

     I will not examine whether this wicked prince, thinking he was
     acting in his personal interests, was not moved by that _invisible
     hand_[766] which seems to have created all the events of our
     revolution in order to lead us towards a goal that we do not see at
     present, but which I think we shall see before long.[767]

In 1801 Monsignor de Savine "made allusions in prudent and almost
terrified terms to some international sect ...a power superior to all
others ...which has arms and eyes everywhere and which governs Europe

In 1817 the Chevalier de Malet declared that "the authors of the
Revolution are not more French than German, Italian, English, etc. They
form a particular nation which took birth and has increased in the dark
amidst all civilized nations with the object of subjecting them all to
its domination."[769]

In 1835 the Carbonaro, Malegari, wrote to another member of the

     We form an association of brothers in all points of the globe, we
     have desires and interests in common, we aim at the emancipation of
     humanity, we wish to break every kind of yoke, yet there is one
     that is unseen, that can hardly be felt, yet that weighs on us.
     Whence comes it? Where is it? No one knows, or at least no one
     tells. The association is secret, even for us, the veterans of
     secret societies.[770]

In 1852 Disraeli wrote:

     It was neither parliaments nor populations, nor the course of
     nature, nor the course of events, that overthrew the throne of
     Louis Philippe ...the throne was surprised by the Secret Societies,
     ever prepared to ravage Europe.... Acting in unison with a great
     popular movement they may destroy society, as they did at the end
     of the last century.[771]

In 1874 Pere Deschamps, after his exhaustive study of secret societies,
thus propounded the question:

     We have now to ask ourselves whether there is anything but an
     identity of doctrines and personal communications between the
     members of the different sects, whether there is really a unity of
     direction which binds together all the secret societies, including
     Free Masonry. Here we touch on the most mysterious point of the
     action of secret societies, on that which these national Grand
     Orients who declare themselves independent of each other and
     sometimes even excommunicate each other conceal most carefully
     beneath a veil.[772]

Finally Deschamps is led to the conclusion that there is "a secret
council which directs all masonic societies,"[773] that there are
secret lairs where the chiefs of the sects agree together on their work
of destruction.[774]

It would be easy to multiply quotations of this kind taken from many
different sources. Whether the men who expressed these opinions were, as
we are frequently told, suffering from delusions or not, the fact
remains that the idea of a hidden hand behind world-revolution has
existed for at least 135 years. And when we compare these utterances
with Monsieur Copin Albancelli's description of an inner circle secretly
directing the activities of the Grand Orient, and with the conclusions
reached by members of other secret societies, that such a circle exists
behind all occult and masonic societies of a subversive kind, we are
necessarily led to enquire: is there one circle or rather one Power
behind both open and secret organizations working for the overthrow of
the existing social order and Christian civilization? If so, what is
this power?

Now, to leave speculation for the moment and come to known facts,
everyone who has seriously studied these matters is aware that there are
at the present moment five principal organized movements at work in the
world with which ordered government has to contend, that may be
summarized as follows:

    1. Grand Orient Freemasonry.
    2. Theosophy with its innumerable ramifications.
    3. Nationalism of an aggressive kind, now represented by Pan-Germanism.
    4. International Finance.
    5. Social Revolution.

It will be seen that, with the exception of the fourth, these movements
are those of which I have endeavoured to trace the course throughout the
earlier part of this book. It is a highly significant fact that it was
only when I had reached this stage of my work I discovered there were
independent investigators who had arrived at precisely the same
conclusions as myself.

The problem that now confronts us is therefore this: if there is indeed
one power directing all subversive movements, is it one of the five
movements here enumerated or is it yet another power more potent and
more invisible? In order to discover this, it is necessary to consider
whether these movements, although apparently divergent in their ultimate
purpose, have nevertheless any ideas or any aims in common. One
fundamental point of similarity will certainly be found between them.
All desire to dominate the world and to direct it along lines and
according to rules of their own devising; more than this, each desires
to direct it solely for the benefit of one class of people--social,
intellectual, or national as the case may be--to the entire exclusion of
every human being outside that class. Thus in reality each aspires to
the dictatorship of the world.

Besides this, it will be noticed that not only these principal
movements, but also the minor subversive movements described in the last
chapter, have in the main (1) a pro-German tendency--none, at any rate,
are pro-French nor do they encourage British patriotism, (2) all contain
a Jewish element--none, at least, are "anti-Semite," and (3) all have a
more or less decided antagonism to Christianity. If then, there is a
single power behind them, is it the Pan-Germanic Power? Is it the Jewish
Power? Or is it the Anti-Christian Power? Let us examine each of these
possibilities in turn.

Viewed under the aspect of exaggerated Nationalism, the spirit of
Pan-Germanism is nothing new. The dream of world-domination has haunted
the imagination of many races from the time of Alexander the Great to
Napoleon I, but nowhere has the plan been carried out by the
Machiavellian methods which have characterized Prussian foreign policy
and diplomacy from the days of Frederick the Great onwards. It is not
Prussian militarism that constitutes the crime of modern Germany.
Militarism in the sense of courage, patriotism, discipline, and devotion
to duty is a splendid thing. But the spirit of Pan-Germanism differs
from the British conception of patriotism in that it overrides the
rights of all other peoples and seeks to establish its domination over
the whole world. Under German domination every German would be free and
every other human being a slave. England, whilst seeking conquests, has,
on the other hand, always allowed the inhabitants of conquered
territories to develop along their own lines and has made use of
legislation largely to protect them from each other. The preference of
the native of India for an English judge to one of his own race is
evidence of this fact. But it is further the abandonment of all
principle, the acceptance of the doctrine that everything is
allowable--lying, treachery, calumny, and bad faith--in order to achieve
its end, that has placed Germany outside the comity of nations. Robison
describes the system of the Illuminati as leading to the conclusion that
"nothing would be scrupled at, if it could be made appear that the Order
would derive advantage from it, because the great object of the Order
was held as superior to every consideration."[775] Change the word
Order to State, and one has the whole principle of modern German

Now, it is interesting to notice that the founders of German Illuminism
and of German Imperialism drew certain of their ideas from the same
source. Both Weishaupt and Frederick the Great were earnest students of
Machiavelli--and both out-did their master. This form of Machiavellism,
carried to a point probably never dreamt of by the Italian philosopher,
has run through the whole struggle of Prussia for supremacy and at the
same time through each outbreak of world revolution in which Prussian
influence has played a part. Thus the Ems telegram in 1870, the false
report that tricked Russia into mobilization in 1914,[776] the violation
of treaties and of all the laws of civilised warfare during the recent
war, were the direct outcome of doctrines that may be found in embryo in
_The Prince_. So also the most striking characteristic of the French
Revolution under the inspiration of Weishaupt's emissaries and the
agents of Prussia, and of the present revolutionary movement inaugurated
by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, is not so much its violence as its
Machiavellian cunning. The art popularly known to-day as
_camouflage_--of dressing-up one design under the guise of something
quite different, of making black appear white by glorifying the most
ignoble actions, of making white appear black by holding up all
honourable traditions to contempt and ridicule, in a word
_perversion_--has been reduced to a system by the secret directors of
world revolution. It is here that we can detect the non-proletarian
character of the movement. The working-man of all countries is the least
Machiavellian of beings; his weakness lies in the fact that he is too
inarticulate, that he does not know how to put his case even when he has
a good one, still less to make a bad one appear plausible. It was not
until world revolution was taken over by the faction described by
Bakunin as "the German-Jew Company" that it reassumed its Machiavellian
character and gradually became the formidable organization it is to-day.

A few extracts from _The Prince_ will show how closely both the
Prussians and the Terrorists of France and Russia have followed
Machiavelli's manual for despots:

"He who usurps the government of any State is to execute and put in
practice all the cruelties which he thinks material at once, that he may
have no occasion to renew them often," etc.[777] (Vide the German
principle of "frightfulness" to be exercised against the inhabitants of
invaded territory and the plan of the French and Russian Terrorists in
suppressing "counter-revolutionaries.")

"It is of such importance to a prince to take upon him the nature and
disposition of a beast; of all the whole flock he ought to imitate the
lion and the fox."[778](Vide Frederick the Great and the demagogues of
France and Russia.)

"A prince ... who is wise and prudent, cannot or ought not to keep his
parole, when the keeping of it is to his prejudice, and the causes for
which he promised removed."[779] (Vide Germany's doctrine of the scrap
of paper and the promises of the Bolshevist Trade Delegation in London
to refrain from propaganda.)

"Because the whole multitude which submits to your government is not
capable of being armed, if you be beneficial and obliging to those you
do arm, you may make the bolder with the rest, for the difference of
your behaviour to the soldier binds him more firmly to your service,"
etc.[780](Vide the insolent behaviour permitted to officers of the
German Imperial Army and the feeding of the Red Army in Russia at the
expense of the rest of the population.)

"The prince ... is obliged ... at convenient times in the year to
entertain the people by feastings and plays and spectacles of recreation
... and give them some instance of his humanity and magnificence."[781]
(Vide the important part played by "spectacles" in the French Revolution
and by the theatre and opera in Soviet Russia. Always the same plan of
"_panem ei circenses_!")

Just after the fall of Napoleon I a French writer published a book
describing the "methodic perversity" of the revolutionary leaders and
the Revolution as the beginning of a Machiavellian regime.[782] How did
this system come to be established in France unless under the guidance
of Weishaupt's emissaries and the agents of Frederick the Great and of
the Illuminatus Frederick William II?

Germany was well able, however, to defend herself against the
devastating doctrines of Illuminism. Always the home of secret
societies, she became by the end of the nineteenth century the spiritual
home of Socialism. Yet although this might appear to present a danger to
German Imperialism, no country has remained so free as Germany from
serious agitation. It has been well said that the Germans are
theoretically more Socialistic than other nations, but they are far less

The truth is that the rulers of Germany have always known that they
could count not merely on the servility of the people but on their
ardent national spirit. A strong vein of patriotism ran through all the
secret societies even of the most subversive variety, and it was the
German Student Orders, whence the Illuminati drew their disciples, that
became also the recruiting-ground for the German Imperialist idea.
Instead of combating subversive forces, German Imperialism adopted the
far more skilful expedient of enlisting them in its service.

It was thus that in Germany Freemasonry became a powerful aid to
Prussian aggrandizement. From 1840 onwards the word of command to all
the lodges went out from Berlin,[783] and in the revolution of 1848 the
Freemasons of Germany showed themselves the most ardent supporters of
German unity under the aegis of Prussia. Later, Bismarck with superb
ingenuity enlisted not only Freemasons and members of secret societies
but Socialists and democrats in the same cause. Lassalle and Marx
contributed powerfully to the cause of pan-Germanism. Dammer, who
succeeded Lassalle as head of the Socialist party, instructed his
successor Fritsche that "in the meetings which took place in Saxony,
whilst putting forward Socialist claims, they must not fail to demand
the unity of Germany under the domination of Prussia. Fritsche was
personally to render an account to Bismarck of the results obtained at
these meetings."[784]

Even as far afield as Italy, Bismarck succeeded in imposing the policy
of German autocracy on men who were ostensibly marching in the vanguard
of "liberty." "I believe in the unity of Germany," Mazzini wrote to
Bismarck in 1867, "and I desire it as I desire that of my own country. I
abhor the empire and supremacy that France arrogates to herself over

Before 1870 Freemasonry everywhere on the Continent helped the cause of
Germany. "The Occult Power preached pacifism and humanitarianism in
France by means of French Freemasonry whilst it preached patriotism in
Germany by means of German Freemasonry."[786] So although throughout
the nineteenth century the rulers of Germany permitted the dissemination
of ideas antagonistic to religion, until by the dawn of the following
century the very idea of God was rooted out of the minds of many German
children, the Imperial Government was careful that nothing should be
allowed to weaken patriotism. Indeed, the Pan-German obsession into
which German patriotism became transformed under the influence of such
men as Treitschke and Bernhardi was, no less than revolutionary
Socialism, fortified by irreligion because founded on the law of force
and the absence of all moral scruple. It is thus not "militarism" in the
accepted sense that has rendered Germany a menace to the world, but the
Machiavellian plan of using for export doctrines sternly repressed
within her own borders.

I shall not enlarge here on the crime of the German Imperial Staff in
sending Lenin and his fellow Bolsheviks to Russia, because I have
already dealt at length with this question in a controversy that
appeared in the _Morning Post_ two years ago.[787] But whilst
acknowledging the fair and courteous line of argument adopted by my
German opponent, with which on certain points I found myself completely
in agreement. I was obliged to recognize that the bar to any real
understanding between us lay in the impossibility of persuading him to
recognize the principle that all means are not justifiable in order to
obtain one's ends. This is how he expresses himself on the subject:

If Mrs. Webster ... reproaches Germany for having employed seditious
propaganda in the countries of the Allies, it may simply be brought to
mind that all is fair in love and war. In a war, in a fight concerning
life and death, one does not look at the weapons which one takes, nor at
the values which are destroyed by using the arms. The only adviser [sic]
is, first of all, the success of the fight, the salvation of one's

Until Germany abandons this Machiavellian doctrine it will be impossible
to treat her as a civilized Power.

But Herr Kerlen accuses England of pursuing the same Machiavellian
policy of encouraging sedition abroad. Undoubtedly England did propagate
Pacifism in Germany and other enemy countries and hoped to bring about a
political revolution, that is to say, a rising of the German people
against the rulers who had led them into war. (It should be remembered
that all the friends of Germany in this country always declared that the
German people did not want the war and were dragged into it unwillingly
by the military caste.) But is there any evidence to show that England
ever attempted to engineer a social revolution, to undermine morality
and all belief in ordered government, in a word to promote Bolshevism in
Germany or elsewhere? Herr Kerlen cites the sympathy accorded in this
country to the Kerensky revolution. But England, largely through the
influence of the Liberals, had always entertained an exaggerated idea of
"Tzarist tyranny," and honestly sympathized with all efforts, however
misguided, to "liberate" the Russian people. Further, throughout the war
the Tzar and Tzarina had been ceaselessly represented as faithless to
the Allies--a story that we now know to have been an infamous calumny
circulated doubtless by enemy agents. This idea even obtained credence
in Conservative circles, misled by false information on the situation in
Russia. One must have lived through the spring of 1917 in London to
realize how completely not only the public but the authorities were
deluded. What else could be expected when the opinion of Socialists was
accepted on the matter? I know from personal experience that two of the
most important Government departments were completely mistaken even on
the subject of Bolshevism, with the result that measures were not taken
which might have checked its spread into this country.

In a word, then, the essential difference between the attitude of
Germany and England to Russia was that whilst England imagined that the
Kerensky revolution would be for the good of Russia as well as for the
advantage of the Allies, Germany deliberately introduced into Russia
what she knew to be a poison.

Always faithful to the maxim of _divide et impera_, Germany, after
bringing Russia to ruin, has at last succeeded in causing dissensions
between the Allies. This policy she pursued unremittingly throughout the
war. Thus whilst on one hand she was assuring the French that "the
English would fight to the last breath of the last Frenchman," General
Ludendorff was instructing the Imperial Chancellor that: "We must again
and again rub in the sentence in Kuhlmann's speech to the effect that
the question of Alsace-Lorraine is the only one which stands in the way
of peace. And we must lay special emphasis on the fact that the English
people are shedding their blood for an Imperialistic war-aim."[789]

So skilfully was this propaganda carried on after the war had ended that
whilst English officers returning to England from the occupied areas
were declaring that the friendliness of the Germans convinced them that
Germany was really our friend and that we should have an "entente" with
her rather than with France, French officers returning to France said
that the Germans had assured them that they were their best friends,
that England was the real enemy, and that it would be better to break
the Entente and form an alliance with Germany. At the same time no less
than three lines of propaganda concerning the causes of the war were
going out from Germany, one laying all the blame on the English, one on
the French, and one on the Jews, and pamphlets embodying these
conflicting theories were despatched broadcast to likely subjects in the
countries of the Allies.[790]

The greatest triumph for Imperial Germany lay in her success in
enlisting the very elements amongst the Allies which might most be
expected to oppose her. Although there was no country in the world where
monarchy was so adored, militarism so universally admired, where rank
and birth played so important a part, and the working classes, though
cared for, so rigidly kept in subjection, Germany from the time of
Bismarck onwards has always been the "spiritual home" of British
Socialists, democrats, and pacifists, just as in France she has always
found her principal allies in the masonic lodges. And this although the
German Socialists and Freemasons have never attempted to use their
influence in favour of the masonic and Socialist ideal of universal
brotherhood and world-peace, but, on the contrary, at every crisis have
thrown in their lot with the military party. Thus before the
Franco-Prussian War, whilst French Freemasons of the Loge Concordia and
the Socialists of the First Internationale were urging their brothers to
rely on German Socialism to avert a conflict, the Prussian lodges were
shouting Hoch! to the national colours and chanting the praises of King
William and "the Prussian sword," and the German Social Democrats were
applauding the cause of German unity.[791]

Exactly the same thing happened before the recent war, when Jaures
assured his fellow-Socialists that at the first sign of conflict he had
only to communicate with Berlin in order to enlist German Socialism in
the interests of peace; yet on the declaration of war the German
Socialists voted solidly for war credits, whilst the British Socialists
opposed participation in the war and even in some instances expressed
sympathy with Germany. And let it never be forgotten, it was not
Socialist Germany but Imperial Germany that won the allegiance of our
so-called democrats.

In spite of this betrayal by the Socialists of Germany, in spite of the
fact that they have contributed nothing to the cause of International
Socialism or of world-peace, the British "Labour" Party never until its
accession to office wavered in its policy of publicly advocating the
cause of Germany. With the exception of the Social Democratic
Federation, every Socialist body in this country has proclaimed
pro-German sentiments, and _Justice_ alone, of all Socialist organs, has
expressed its sympathy for the sufferings of France. In fact, any
Socialist who dared to champion the cause of France immediately lost his
influence and position in Socialist circles. As to the _Daily Herald_,
had it been edited in Berlin it could not more faithfully have supported
German interests. When Alsace Lorraine was restored to France, it
published an article showing how deeply the inhabitants of this province
resented being transferred from the German Empire to the French
Republic[792]; when a general strike threatened this country, it seized
the opportunity to come out with an appeal in enormous capitals to
revise the Versailles Treaty; in the matter of reparations its efforts
to let Germany off altogether have been, as it itself observed,
"unceasing." "The plain fact is," it declared on December 17, 1921,
"that these fantastic reparation demands cannot be met; and that every
payment by which Germany attempts to meet them will only work further
havoc to our own commerce and our own industry. We have urged that
ceaselessly for three years. To-day even the Premier begins to see that
we were right, that the interests of this country demand the scrapping
of _the whole bad business of 'making Germany pay_.'"[793]

Indeed, when the interests of Germany were concerned, this paper, which
Lenin has described as "our own organ," but which might still more truly
be claimed by Ludendorff and Stinnes, was quite ready to throw Socialism
to the winds and plead the cause of capital. At the very moment that it
was advocating the Labour policy of a capital levy on all fortunes
exceeding L5,000 in this country, the _Daily Herald_ waxed almost
tearful over the iniquity of France in attempting to touch the pockets
of German multi-millionaires whose profits, it went on to explain
elaborately, were not nearly as huge as might appear in view of the
decline in the purchasing power of the mark. The decline in the
purchasing power of the pound had, however, never been taken into
account when assessing the profits of British employers of labour.[794]

We have only to follow point by point the policy of the British Labour
Party since the war to recognize that whilst the measures it advocated
might be of doubtful benefit to the workers, there could be no doubt
whatever of the benefit they would confer on Germany. With a million and
a quarter unemployed and large numbers of the working classes unable to
find homes, the professed representatives of Labour have persistently
clamoured for the removal of restrictions on alien immigration and alien
imports. So although through the Trade Unions the British worker was to
be rigorously protected against competition from his fellow-Briton, no
obstacles were to be placed in the way of competition by foreign, and
frequently underpaid, labour. That this glaring betrayal of their
interests should not have raised a storm of resentment amongst the
working classes is surely evidence that the Marxian doctrine "the
emancipation of the working classes must be brought about by the working
classes themselves"[795] has so far led to no great results. Emerson
truly observed: "So far as a man thinks, he is free." The working
classes can never be free until they learn to think for themselves
instead of allowing their thinking to be done for them by the
middle-class exploiters of Labour.

The hand of Germany behind Socialism must be apparent to all those who
do not deliberately shut their eyes to the fact, and it is significant
to notice that the nearer Socialism approaches to Bolshevism the more
marked this influence becomes. Thus although certain Socialist groups,
such as the Social Democratic Federation in England and the Socialist
Party in France, have not become Germanized, the avowed Communists in
all the Allied countries are strongly pro-German. This is the case even
in France, where the Bolsheviks find fervent supporters in the group led
by Marcel Cachin, Froissart, and Longuet, grandson of Karl Marx.

The organization of the Bolshevist movement has indeed throughout owed a
great deal of its efficiency to German co-operation, provided not only by
the Socialist but by the Monarchist elements in Germany. It is necessary
in this connexion to understand the dual character of the German
Monarchist party since the ending of the war. The great majority of its
adherents, animated by nothing more reprehensible than the spirit of
militarism and an aggressive form of patriotism that clings to the old
formula of _Deutschland uber alles_, are probably strangers to any
intrigues, but behind this mass of honest Imperialists, and doubtless
unknown to a great number, there lurk those sinister organizations the
Pan-German secret societies.

Many of these, as for example the _Ostmarkenverein_, ostensibly
instituted for the defence of German interests on the Russian frontier,
existed before the war; indeed, there is little doubt that they have
continued without a break since the days of the Tugendbund and have
always preserved their masonic and "illuminized" character. But since
the beginning of the Great War, and still more since the Armistice,
their numbers have increased until in 1921 they were estimated to run
into three figures. Moreover, as in the time of Weishaupt, Bavaria is
still a centre for secret-society intrigue, and it was here that
Escherich founded the _Einwohnerwehr_ sometimes known as the _Orgesch_
or Organization Escherich, with Munich as its headquarters. The Orgesch
was followed by the formidable murder club known to all the world as the
Organization C or "Consul," named after its founder, the famous Captain
Ehrhardt, whose nickname was "_der Herr Consul_." During the year 1921
no less than 400 political assassinations were reported in Germany and
said to be the work of secret societies. Amongst the crimes attributed
to the initiative of Organization C were the murders of Herr Erzberger
and the attempt on the life of Herr Scheidemann. Eighty persons arrested
for complicity in the murder of Herr Rathenau were also said to be
members of the same society.[796]

But as in the case of all secret societies, the visible leaders were not
the real hierarchy; behind this active body there existed an inner
circle organised on masonic lines, the Druidenorden, a name unknown to
the public, and behind this again another and still more secret circle
which appears to be nameless. It is these inner rings which, whilst
remaining Monarchist in Germany, work for other ends abroad, and are
connected with the world-revolutionary movement.

This alliance between the two extremes of ardent Monarchism and
revolutionary Socialism existed at the beginning of the war or even
earlier, and, as is now well known, it was the Jewish Social Democrat,
Israel Lazarewitch, alias Helphandt alias Parvus, who arranged with the
German General Staff for the passage of Lenin from Switzerland to
Russia, accompanied by Karl Radek, the Austrian Jew deserter, and a
number of other Jews.

Now, Switzerland has been for hundreds of years a centre of
revolutionary and secret-society intrigue. As early as the sixteenth
century the Pope, writing to the Kings of France and Spain, warned them
that Geneva was "un foyer eternel de revolution," and Joseph de Maistre,
quoting this letter in 1817, declared Geneva to be the metropolis of the
revolutionaries, whose art of deception he describes as "the great
European secret."[797] Elsewhere, a year earlier, he had referred to
Illuminism as the root of all the evil at work. It is now known that at
the moment de Maistre wrote these words an inner ring of
revolutionaries, claiming direct descent from Weishaupt and even from an
earlier sect existing at the end of the fifteenth century, profited by
the fall of Napoleon I to reconstruct its organization and took up its
headquarters in Switzerland with branch offices in London and Paris. The
same secret ring of Illuminati is believed to have been intimately
connected with the organization of the Bolshevist revolution, although
none of the leading Bolsheviks are said to have been members of the
innermost circle, which is understood to consist of men belonging to the
highest intellectual and financial classes whose names remained
absolutely unknown. Outside this absolutely secret ring there
existed, however, a semi-secret circle of high initiates of subversive
societies drawn from all over the world and belonging to various
nationalities--German, Jewish, French, Russian, and even Japanese. This
group, which might be described as the active ring of the inner circle,
appears to have been in touch with, if not in control of, a committee
which met in Switzerland to carry out the programme of the Third

It was thus in Switzerland that at the same time high initiates of
Pan-German secret societies foregathered and that an active centre of
pro-German, anti-Entente, and even Bolshevist propaganda was
established. These Germans, although Monarchists themselves, co-operated
with the secret revolutionary forces in stirring up trouble in the
countries of the Allies. At the same time the conferences of the Second
Internationale, attended by members of the British I.L.P. took place in
Switzerland, and at one of these--the Berne Conference of 1919--the
delegates were entertained by a mysterious "American" millionaire, John
de Kay, living himself in great style, paying for press service at the
rate of 2,000 francs a day, lavishing money on the conference, and at
the same time subsidizing a Pacifist and Defeatest paper named _La

It is impossible, then, to ignore the role of Germany in the present
outbreak of world revolution. In the British White Paper on Bolshevism
in Russia we find it stated by an Englishman who had been through the
whole of the Revolution in that country that:

     The Germans initiated disturbances in order to reduce Russia to
     chaos. They printed masses of paper money to finance their schemes;
     the notes, of which I possess specimens, can be easily recognized
     by a special mark.[798]

What has Germany to say to all this? Simply that the promotion of
Bolshevism was a military "necessity" in order to bring about the
downfall of her opponents, but that the propaganda utilized by her was
in reality of Jewish origin, and that Jewry, not Germany, was the real
author of world revolution.

It is easy to see how such a theory can be made to serve the cause of
Pan-Germanism. For if Germany can persuade us that the Jews alone were
responsible for the war and were also the sole authors of Bolshevism, we
shall naturally be led to the conclusion that Germany is, after all,
innocent of the crimes attributed to her, and that our only safety lies
in forgoing reparations, restoring her to her former power, and
coalescing with her against a common enemy. We shall therefore do well
to accept with extreme caution advice on the Jewish question emanating
from German sources, and to test the sincerity of the spirit in which it
is offered by considering the relations which have hitherto existed
between the Germans and the Jews.

Now, Germany has long been the home of modern "anti-Semitism." Although
in every country and at every period, but more particularly in the East
of Europe during the last century, the Jews have suffered from
unpopularity, it was Germany that organized this aversion into a
definite plan of campaign. If in Russia, Galicia, and Poland the Jews
have met with sporadic violence at the hands of the peasants, in Germany
they have been systematically held up by the authorities to hatred and
contempt. Luther, Kant, Fichte, Schopenhauer, Treitschke, successively
inveighed against the Jewish race. Jews were denied admission to masonic
lodges and to the rank of officers in the army, whilst society excluded
them up to the outbreak of war.

Yet the extraordinary fact remains that of all nations the Germans have
always been the favourites of the Jews. Throughout the whole movement
for the unification of Germany under the aegis of Prussia, Jews played a
leading part, and in the recent war Germany found in them some of her
most valuable allies. As Maximilian Harden recently pointed out: "The
services of the Jews to Germany during the war were enormous. The
patriotism of the Jews was beyond reproach, in many cases even ludicrous
and offensive in its intensity." And in spite of "anti-Semitism," Harden
declares: "There is a strong affinity between the German and the Jew."[799]
To the Ashkenazim Germany even more than Palestine has appeared
the Land of Promise. Thus some years before the war Professor Ludwig
Geiger, leader of the Liberal Jews of Berlin, denounced "Zionist
sophisms" in the words: "The German Jew who has a voice in German
literature must, as he has been accustomed to for the last century and a
half, look upon Germany alone as his fatherland, upon the German
language as his mother-tongue, and the future of that nation must remain
the only one upon which he bases his hopes."[800]

How are we to explain this unrequited devotion? Simply by the German
policy of enlisting every dynamic force in her service. She has known
how to use the Jews just as she has known how to use the Freemasons, the
Illuminati, and the Socialists for the purpose of Pan-Germanism. From
Frederick the Great, who employed the Jew Ephraim to coin false money,
to William II, who kept in touch with Rathenau by means of a private
telephone wire, the rulers of Germany have always allowed them to
co-operate in their schemes of world-domination. As the allies of
Bismarck, who used them freely to fill his war-chests, the Jews directed
the power of the secret societies in the interests of Germany; in 1871
the Jew Bloechreider acted as adviser to the new German Empire as to the
best method of wresting indemnities from France. And Germany, whilst
heaping insults on the Jews, nevertheless fulfils certain conditions
essential to Jewish enterprise. Unlike England and France, she has never
allowed herself to be seriously weakened by democratic ideas, and
therefore to the Jews--as to British believers in autocracy--she
represents the principle of stability.

Moreover, Germany as the home of militarism offers a wide field for
Jewish speculation. We have only to couple together an aphorism of
Mirabeau's with one of Werner Sombart's to perceive the bond of union
between the two races, thus: "War is the national industry of Prussia"
and "Wars are the Jews' harvests." As long ago as 1793 Anacharsis
Clootz, the apostle of universal brotherhood and defender of the Jewish
race, declared that if Germany were to be prevented from going to war
the Jews must be persuaded to withdraw their support from her military

     War could not begin or last in Germany without the activity, the
     intelligence, and the money of the Jews. Magazines and munitions of
     all kinds are provided by Hebrew capitalists and all the subaltern
     agents of military provisionment are of the same nation. We have
     only to come to an understanding with our brothers, the Rabbis, to
     produce astonishing, miraculous results.[801]

Mr. Ford, the American motor-car manufacturer, appears to have arrived
at much the same conclusion expressed in the words recently attributed
to him: "We don't need the League of Nations to end war. Put under
control the fifty most wealthy Jewish financiers, who produce wars for
their own profit, and wars will cease."[802]

On another occasion Mr. Ford is reported to have said that the Jews who
voyaged with him in the Peace ship in 1915 "went out of their way to
convince" him of "the direct relations between the International Jew and
the war": they "went into details to tell me the means by which the Jews
controlled the war--how they had the money, how they had cornered all
the basic materials needed to fight the war," etc.[803]

Without in any way absolving Germany from the crime of the war, it is
necessary to take this secondary factor into consideration if peace
between the nations is to be established. For as long as the lust of war
lingers in the hearts of the Germans and the lust of gain at the price
of human suffering lingers in the hearts of the Jews, both races will
remain necessary to each other and the hideous nightmare of war will
continue to brood over the world.

There is then a great deal of truth in the Socialist phrase
"Capitalists' Wars," although not in the sense they attribute to it. For
it will be noticed that the Capitalists who are most instrumental in
making wars are precisely those whom the Socialists are always careful
to shield from blame. The following incident will illustrate this point.

At a meeting of the Social Democratic Federation Mr. Adolphe Smith moved
a resolution appealing to the organized workers of Great Britain--

     Not to permit themselves in the supposed interests of their
     fellow-workers in other countries, to be used by sinister financial
     and militarist influences merely to weaken the Entente nations in
     the present critical situation, and urging them to keep careful
     watch against such manoeuvres on the part of pro-German
     international financiers, who were able to exercise considerable
     reactionary influence among the wealthy and official classes in
     this country.[804]

Mr. Hyndman added that "the most serious danger by which we were
threatened was from the most powerful group of capitalists in Europe
headed by Hugo Stinnes and backed by Hindenburg, Ludendorff, and the
militarist party in Germany." This resolution was opposed by a member of
the Parliamentary Labour Party and eventually withdrawn.

The connexion between German Imperialism, International Finance,
Illuminism, Bolshevism, and certain sections of British Socialism is
thus apparent. Is Germany then the secret power behind the thing we call
Bolshevism? Are Illuminism and Pan-Germanism one and the same thing? To
this hypothesis two objections present themselves: firstly, that the
spirit of Illuminism and Bolshevism existed, as we have seen in earlier
chapters of this book, long before modern Germany came into existence;
and secondly, that Germany herself is not entirely free from the
contagion. For although the danger of Bolshevism in Germany has been
doubtless greatly exaggerated in order to prevent the Allies from
pressing their demands for disarmament and reparations, nevertheless
Bolshevism under its illuminated name of Spartacism cannot be regarded
as a movement entirely staged for the deception of Europe. Moreover,
just as in the countries of the Allies it has shown itself, under the
guise of Pacifism, savagely anti-national and pro-German, so in Germany,
as also in Hungary, it turned Pacifism to the opposite purpose by
professing sympathy at moments with the Allies.

It is clear, then, that besides Pan-Germanism there is another power at
work, a power far older, that seeks to destroy all national spirit, all
ordered government in every country, Germany included. What is this
power? A large body of opinion replies: the Jewish power.



In considering the immense problem of the Jewish Power, perhaps the most
important problem with which the modern world is confronted, it is
necessary to divest oneself of all prejudices and to enquire in a spirit
of scientific detachment whether any definite proof exists that a
concerted attempt is being made by Jewry to achieve world-domination and
to obliterate the Christian faith.

That such a purpose has existed amongst the Jews in the past has been
shown throughout the earlier chapters of this book. The conception of
the Jews as the Chosen People who must eventually rule the world forms
indeed the basis of Rabbinical Judaism.

It is customary in this country to say that we should respect the Jewish
religion, and this would certainly be our duty were the Jewish religion
founded, as is popularly supposed, solely on the Old Testament. For
although we do not consider ourselves bound to observe the ritual of the
Pentateuch, we find no fault with the Jews for carrying out what they
conceive to be their religious duties. Moreover, although the Old
Testament depicts the Jews as a favoured race--a conception which we
believe to have been superseded by the Christian dispensation, whereby
all men are declared equal in the sight of God--nevertheless it does
contain a very lofty law of righteousness applicable to all mankind. It
is because of their universality that the books of Job and Ecclesiastes,
as also many passages in the Psalms, in Isaiah, and the minor prophets,
have made an undying appeal to the human race. But the Jewish religion
now takes its stand on the Talmud rather than on the Bible. "The modern
Jew," one of its latest Jewish translators observes, "is the product of
the Talmud."[805] The Talmud itself accords to the Bible only a
secondary place. Thus the Talmudic treatise Soferim says: "The Bible is
like water, the Mischna is like wine, and the Gemara is like spiced

Now, the Talmud is not a law of righteousness for all mankind, but a
meticulous code applying to the Jew alone. No human being outside the
Jewish race could possibly go to the Talmud for help or comfort. One
might look through its pages in vain for any such splendid rule of life
as that given by the prophet Micah: "He hath shewed thee, O man, what is
good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to
love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?" In the Talmud, on the
contrary, as Drach points out, "the precepts of justice, of equity, of
charity towards one's neighbour, are not only not applicable with regard
to the Christian, but constitute a crime in anyone who would act
differently.... The Talmud expressly forbids one to save a non-Jew from
death, ... to restore lost goods, etc., to him, to have pity on him."[806]

How far the Talmud has contributed to the anti-social tendencies of
modern Judaism is shown by the fact that the Karaites living in the
south of Russia, the only body of Jews which takes its stand on the
Bible, and not on the Talmud,--of which it only accepts such portions as
are in accordance with Bible teaching--have always shown themselves good
subjects of the Russian Empire, and have therefore enjoyed equal rights
with the Russian people around them. Catherine the Great particularly
favoured the Karaites.

Thus even the Jews are not unanimous in supporting the Talmud; indeed,
as we have already seen, many Jews have protested against it as a
barrier between themselves and the rest of the human race.

But it is in the Cabala, still more than in the Talmud, that the Judaic
dream of world-domination recurs with the greatest persistence. The
Zohar indeed refers to this as a _fait accompli_, explaining that "the
Feast of Tabernacles is the period when Israel triumphs over the other
people of the world; that is why during this feast we seize the Loulab
[branches of trees tied together] and carry it as a trophy to show that
we have conquered all the other peoples known as 'populace' and that we
dominate them."[807] God is, however, asked to accord these other
peoples a certain share of blessings, "so that occupied with this share
they shall not participate nor mingle with the joy of Israel when he
calls down blessings from on high." The situation may thus be compared
with that of a king who, wishing to give a feast to his special friends,
finds his house invaded by importunate governors demanding admittance.
"What then does the king do? He orders the governors to be served with
beef and vegetables, which are common food, and then sits down to table
with his friends and has the most delicious dishes served."[808]

But this is nothing to the feasting that is to take place when the
Messianic era arrives. After the return of the Jews from all nations and
parts of the world to Palestine, the Messiah, we are told in the Talmud,
will entertain them at a gorgeous banquet, where they will be seated at
golden tables and regaled with wine from Adam's wine-cellar. The first
course is to consist of a roasted ox named Behemoth, so immense that
every day it eats up the grass upon a thousand hills; the second of a
monstrous fish Leviathan; the third of a female Leviathan boiled and
pickled; the fourth of a gigantic roast fowl known as Barjuchne, of
which the egg alone was so enormous that when it fell out of the nest it
crushed three hundred tall cedars and the white overflowed threescore
villages. This course is to be followed up by "the most splendid and
pompous Dessert" that can be procured, including fruit from the Tree of
Life and "the Pomegranates of Eden which are preserved for the Just."

At the end of the banquet "God will entertain the company at a ball"; He
Himself will sit in the midst of them, and everyone will point Him out
with his finger, saying: "Behold, this is our God: we have waited for
Him, we will be glad and rejoice in His salvation."[809]

The eighteenth-century commentator, whose summary of these passages we
quote, goes on to observe:

     But let us see a little after what manner the Jews are to live in
     their ancient Country under the Administration of the Messiah. In
     the First Place, the strange Nations, which they shall suffer to
     live, shall build them Houses and Cities, till them Ground, and
     plant them Vineyards; and all this, without so much as looking for
     any Reward of their Labour. These surviving Nations will likewise
     voluntarily offer them all their Wealth and Furniture: And Princes
     and Nobles shall attend them; and be ready at their Nod to pay them
     all Manner of Obedience; while they themselves shall be surrounded
     with Grandeur and Pleasure, appearing abroad in Apparel glittering
     with Jewels like Priests of the Unction, consecrated to God....

     In a word, the felicity of this Holy Nation, in the Times of the
     Messiah, will be such, that the exalted Condition of it cannot
     enter into the Conception of Man; much less can it be couched in
     human Expression. This is what the Rabbis say of it. But the
     intelligent reader will doubtless pronounce it the Paradise of

It is interesting to notice that this conception of the manner in which
the return to Palestine is to be carried out has descended to certain of
the modern colonists. Sir George Adam Smith, after watching Zionism at
work in 1918, wrote:

     On visiting a recently established Jewish colony in the north-east
     of the land, round which a high wall had been built by the
     munificent patron, I found the colonists sitting in its shade
     gambling away the morning, while groups of _fellahin_ at a poor
     wage did the cultivation for them. I said that this was surely not
     the intention of their patron in helping them to settle on land of
     their own. A Jew replied to me in German: "Is it not written: The
     sons of the alien shall be your ploughmen and vinedressers?" I know
     that such delinquencies have become the exception in Jewish
     colonization of Palestine, but they are symptomatic of dangers
     which will have to be guarded against.[811]

The fellahin may, however, consider themselves lucky to be allowed to
live at all, for, according to several passages in the Cabala, all the
_goyim_ are to be swept off the face of the earth when Israel comes into
its own. Thus the Zohar relates that the Messiah will declare war on the
whole world and all the kings of the world will end by declaring war on
the Messiah. But "the Holy One, blessed be He, will display His force
and exterminate them from the world."[812] Then:

     Happy will be the lot of Israel, whom the Holy One, blessed be He,
     has chosen from amongst the _goyim_ of whom the Scriptures say:
     "Their work is but vanity, it is an illusion at which we must
     laugh; they will all perish when God visits them in His wrath." At
     the moment when the Holy One, blessed be He, will exterminate all
     the _goyim_ of the world, Israel alone will subsist, even as it is
     written: "The Lord alone will appear great on that day."[813]

The hope of world-domination is therefore not an idea attributed to the
Jews by "anti-Semites," but a very real and essential part of their
traditions. What then of their attitude to Christianity in the past? We
have already seen that hatred of the person and teaching of Christ did
not end at Golgotha, but was kept alive by the Rabbis and perpetuated in
the Talmud and the Toledot Yeshu. The Cabala also contains passages
referring both to Christ and to Mohammed so unspeakably foul that it
would be impossible to quote them here.

But it will be urged: the Jews of Western Europe to-day know nothing of
the Cabala. This may be so, yet imperceptibly the Cabala has moulded the
mind of the Jew. As a modern Jewish writer has declared:

     [Kabbalism] has contributed to the formation of modern Judaism,
     for, without the influence of the Kabbala, Judaism to-day might
     have been one-sided, lacking in warmth and imagination. Indeed, so
     deeply has it penetrated into the body of the faith that many ideas
     and prayers are now immovably rooted in the general body of
     orthodox doctrine and practice. This element has not only become
     incorporated, but it has fixed its hold on the affections of the
     Jews and cannot be eradicated.[814]

It is thus not in the law of Moses thundered from Sinai, not in the dry
ritual of the Talmud, but in the stupendous imaginings of the Cabala,
that the real dreams and aspirations of Jewry have been transmitted
through the ages. Belief in the coming Messiah may burn low, but faith
in the final triumph of Israel over the other nations of the world still
glows in the hearts of a race nurtured on this hope from time
immemorial. Even the free-thinking Jew must unconsciously react to the
promptings of this vast and ancient ambition. As a modern French writer
has expressed it:

     Assuredly sectarian Freethinkers swarm, who flatter themselves on
     having borrowed nothing from the synagogue and on hating equally
     Jehovah and Jesus. But the modern Jewish world is itself also
     detached from any supernatural belief, and the Messianic tradition,
     of which it preserves the cult, reduces itself to considering the
     Jewish race as the veritable Messiah[815].

Some colour is lent to this statement by an article which recently
appeared in the Jewish press, in which it is explained that, according
to the teaching of the "Liberal Jewish Synagogue," the beautiful
passages in the fifty-third chapter of Isaiah concerning "the Man of
Sorrows acquainted with grief," usually supposed by Christians to relate
to the promised Messiah, are interpreted to modern Jewish youth as
relating to Israel and signifying that Israel's "sufferings were caused
by the sins of other nations," who thus "escaped the suffering they
deserved." Consequently "Israel has suffered for the sake of the whole
world[816]." How this amazing pretension can be maintained in view of
the perpetual denunciations of the Israelites throughout the whole of
the Old Testament is difficult to imagine. On their entry into Canaan
they were distinctly told by Moses that the Lord their God had not given
them "this good land" on account of their righteousness or the
uprightness of their hearts[817]; long afterwards Daniel declared that
all Israel had transgressed the law of God[818]; Nehemiah showed that on
account of their rebellion and disobedience they had been delivered into
the hands of their enemies[819]. Isaiah spoke of the iniquities of Judah
in burning words:

     Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of
     evildoers, children that are corruptors!... Wash your, make you
     clean; put away the evil of your doings from before Mine eyes;
     cease to do evil; learn to do well, etc.[820]

Thus even the Word of God itself is powerless to mitigate the immense
megalomania of the Jewish race. It is doubtful indeed whether by the
majority of Jews the Bible is now regarded as divinely inspired. "The
ten commandments which _we_ gave to mankind[821]" is a phrase typical of
the manner in which Israel now arrogates to itself the sole authorship
of the Scriptures. The deification of humanity by the Freemasons of the
Grand Orient finds its counterpart in the deification of Israel by the
modern Jew.

It is here that we must surely see the cause of much of the suffering
the Jews have endured in the past. No one of course would justify the
cruelty with which they have frequently been treated; nevertheless to
maintain there was no provocation on the part of the Jews would be
absurd. A race that has always considered itself entitled to occupy a
privileged position amongst the nations of the world must inevitably
meet with resentment, and in a primitive age or population resentment is
apt to find a vent in violence shocking to the civilized mind. Moreover,
to represent the Jews as a gentle long-suffering people, always the
victims but never the perpetrators of violence, is absolutely contrary
to historic fact. In the dark ages of the past the Jews showed
themselves perfectly capable of cruelties not only towards other races
but towards each other. One of the first pogroms recorded in the
Christian era was carried out by the Jews themselves. The Jewish
historian Josephus describes the reign of "lawlessness and barbarity"
that was inaugurated about the middle of the first century A.D. by the
band of assassins known as the Sicarii, who infested the country round
Jerusalem and, by means of little daggers that they wore concealed
beneath their garments, "slew men in the daytime and in the midst of the
city, especially at the festivals when they mixed with the multitude."
During one night raid on the small town of Engaddi they massacred more
than seven hundred women and children.[822] And Josephus goes on to say:

     Somehow, indeed, that was a time most fertile in all manner of
     wicked practices among the Jews, insomuch that no kind of villainy
     was then left undone; nor could anyone so much as devise any bad
     thing that was new if he wished. So deeply were they all infected,
     both privately and publicly, and vied with one another who should
     run the greatest lengths in impiety towards God, and in unjust
     actions towards their neighbours, men in power oppressing the
     multitude, and the multitude earnestly endeavouring to destroy men
     in power.[823]

It is futile then to maintain as do the Jews and their friends--for the
pro-Jew is frequently _plus royaliste que le roi_--that all the faults
of the modern Jew are to be attributed to bitterness engendered by
persecution. Judaism has always contained an element of cruelty[824]
which finds expression in the Talmud. It is from the Talmud, not from
the Mosaic law, that the inhuman methods of Jewish slaughtering are
derived.[825] The Talmud likewise gives the most horrible directions for
carrying out capital punishment, particularly with regard to women, by
the methods of stoning, burning, choking, or slaying with the sword. The
victim condemned to be burnt is to have a scarf wound round his neck,
the two ends pulled tightly by the executioners whilst his mouth is
forced open with pincers and a lighted string thrust into it "so that it
flows down through his inwards and shrinks his entrails."[826]

It will be said that all this belongs to the past. True, the practice
here described may be considered obsolete, but the spirit of cruelty and
intolerance that dictated it is still alive. One has only to study the
modern Jewish press to realize the persecution to which Jews are
subjected from members of their own race should they infringe one
fraction of the Jewish code.

If, then, "the modern Jew is the product of the Talmud," it is here that
we must see the principal obstacle to Jewish progress. It is said that
Isaac Disraeli, the father of Lord Beaconsfield, gave as his reason for
withdrawing from the Synagogue that Rabbinical Judaism with its
unyielding laws and fettering customs "cuts off the Jews from the great
family of mankind."[827] Such a system is indeed absolutely
incompatible not only with Christian teaching but with the secular ideas
of Western civilization. The attitude it adopts towards women would be
in itself sufficient to justify this assertion. The Jewish daily prayer,
"Blessed be Thou, O Lord our God, King of the universe, that Thou has
not made me a woman!"[828] is a ludicrous anachronism in the present
age. According to the Talmud a service can take place in the Synagogue
only if ten persons are present, which number ensures the presence of
God in the assembly. Drach explains however that these persons must all
be men. "If then there were nine men and a million women there could be
no assembly, for the reason that women are nothing. But there arrives
[on the scene] only one small boy of thirteen years and a day, at once
there can be a holy assembly and, according to our Doctors, it is
permitted to God to be present[829]."

When therefore we say that we must respect the Jewish religion we
cannot, if we know anything about it, mean that we respect that portion
of it which is founded on the Rabbinical traditions of the Talmud and
the Cabala, but only that ethical law set forth in the Old Testament, to
which right-living Jews have faithfully adhered and which is largely in
accord with Christian teaching.

Let us not forget that Rabbinical Judaism is the declared and implacable
enemy of Christianity. Hatred of Christianity and of the person of
Christ is not a matter of remote history, nor can it be regarded as the
result of persecution; it forms an integral part of Rabbinical tradition
which originated before any persecution of the Jews by Christians had
taken place, and has continued in our country long after all such
persecution has ended.

It is here that we cannot fail to detect the origin of much of that
virulent anti-Christian teaching that is being disseminated in our midst
to-day. This teaching will be observed to follow three lines, of which
the course has been traced throughout this book. These consist in
desecrating the Christian tradition by declaring that Christ was either
(_a_) a myth, (_b_) a purely human teacher endowed with superior virtue
and knowledge of natural laws, (_c_) a crazy fanatic[830] or a
malefactor. The first two theories are, as we have seen, those held by
secret societies; the last is essentially Jewish. It is true that there
is now a movement amongst the more enlightened Jews to recognize Jesus
as a great teacher; so far, unfortunately, this is met by bitter
hostility from the rest, and in the current Jewish press contemptuous
and even blasphemous references to Christ and the Christian faith
frequently occur. The fact that here in England, for nearly three
hundred years, the Jews have been allowed to dwell in peace and carry
out their religious rites unmolested, that they have been admitted to
society, to masonic lodges, and to all offices of State and have met
with increasing tolerance and favour, has done nothing to moderate that
hatred of Christianity inculcated throughout nineteen centuries of
Rabbinical teaching. Thus, for example, under the heading of "What
Christianity has Meant," we read in a modern Jewish periodical:

     We are thinking of what Christianity as an institution has meant to
     us Jews. The twenty centuries of its existence have been coeval
     with the long-drawn tragedy of the Jew's dispersal among the
     nations.... What kindliness and consideration we have received at
     the hands of Christianity has for the most part been tendered with
     the lure of the baptismal font. To the extent to which
     Christianity's embodiment, the Church, has been puissant has the
     Jewish tragedy deepened. Only when and where the Church has been
     weak has life been tolerable for the Jew.... Hatred of the Jew,
     anti-Jewish outbursts and anti-Semitic campaigns, are traceable to
     nothing so surely as to antipathy to the Jew which has been inbred
     by Christianity.... There is thus precious little about which the
     Jew has for rejoicing and gladness in the institution of
     Christianity, etc.[831]

The most cursory study of history would reveal the falseness of this
contention. Antipathy to the Jew began long before the Christian era; in
Egypt, Persia, and Rome he became, whether just or not, the object of
suspicion to rulers. The reason given by Pharaoh for oppressing the
Israelites was that if they were allowed to grow too powerful they might
join themselves to the enemy in time of war[832]; the Emperors of Rome
regarded them as a turbulent element; Mohammed declared: "Their aim will
be to abet disorder on the earth, but God loveth not the abettors of
disorder."[833] Meanwhile, the antipathy shown by the "people" in every
country was mainly based on economic grounds. It was not simply the
possession of wealth--which according to the Socialist creed should
justify any amount of hatred--but the manner in which it was acquired
and the arrogance with which it was displayed that roused popular
feeling against the Jews. An Arab Fakih, Abu Ishak of Elvira, thus
warned his master of the growing power of the Jews in Spain in the
middle of the eleventh century A.D.:

     The Jews, contemptible outcasts, have become great lords, and their
     pride and arrogance know no bounds.... Take not such men for thy
     ministers, but abandon them to curses, for the whole earth crieth
     out against them--ere long it will quake and we shall all perish.
     Turn thine eyes to other lands and behold how the Jews are treated
     as dogs, and kept apart....

     I came to Granada, and there I beheld the Jews reigning. They had
     parcelled out the provinces and the capital between them:
     everywhere one of these accursed ruled. They collected the taxes,
     they made good cheer, they were sumptuously clad, while your
     garments, O Moslems, were old and worn-out. All the secrets of
     state were known to them; yet is it folly to put trust in traitors!
     While believers ate the bread of poverty, they dined delicately in
     the palace.... How can we thrive if we live in the shade and the
     Jews dazzle us with the glory of their pride?[834]

In mediaeval France the chief cause for complaint against the Jews is
that of not working with their hands but of enriching themselves by
"excessive usury." In the fifteenth century the Strasbourg preacher
Geyler asks: "Are the Jews above the Christians? Why will they not work
with their hands?... practising usury is not working. It is exploiting
others whilst remaining idle."[835] Such quotations as these might be
multiplied _ad infinitum_.

To attribute the persecution of the Jews to Christianity is therefore
ludicrous. That in a less enlightened age the Church should have adopted
rigorous measures--although no more rigorous than their own laws
demanded--against those Jews who practised magic and witchcraft must
appear deplorable to the modern mind, but so must many other phases of
mediaeval life. Why then hark back perpetually to the past? If the Jews
were persecuted in a less enlightened age, so were many other sections
of the community. Catholics were persecuted, Protestants were
persecuted, men were placed in the stocks for minor offences, scolding
women were ducked in the village pond. But if all these cruelties of the
dark ages are to be remembered and perpetuated on the plan of a tribal
blood-feud, what peace can there be for the world? The disastrous
results of this tendency were seen in the Irish Intellectuals, nourished
from infancy on the story of Ireland's wrongs, who, instead of sanely
facing present problems, unhinged their minds by brooding on historic
grievances, thereby sealing their own doom and plunging their country
into ruin. So, too, the enraged Feminists, harking back to injustices
that had long ceased to exist, embittered their lives by proclaiming
themselves the eternal enemies of Man. Emerson, the prophet of sanity,
declared: "The only ballast I know is a respect to the present hour."
It is for lack of this ballast that the Jews have become victims of a
fanaticism in which Christians from a mistaken idea of kindness have
frequently encouraged them. In reality nothing is more cruel than to
encourage in the minds of a nervous race the idea of persecution; true
kindness to the Jews would consist in urging them to throw off memories
of past martyrdom and to enter healthfully into the enjoyment of their
present blessings, which are the direct outcome of Christian

Let us consider what Christianity has in reality done for the Jews. If
so much is to be said about the persecutions they have endured, what of
the extraordinary indulgence shown them as the result of Christian
respect for the Bible? For hundreds of years Christian school children
have been brought up on Old Testament history and Christian
congregations have listened sympathetically to the story of Israel's
sufferings and hopes of final restoration. All the support lent to
Zionism arose from this tradition. Christianity, then, so reviled by the
Jews, has been their greatest protection. If Christianity goes, the
whole theory that the Jews were once the Chosen People goes with it as
far as Gentiles are concerned, and the Jewish race, divested of its halo
of divine favour, will have to be judged on its own merits.

In our own country, the Chosen People theory has in fact been carried to
the point of superstition--a superstition immensely advantageous to the
Jews--which consists in interpreting the passage of Scripture containing
the promise made to Abraham, "I will bless them that bless thee, and
curse them that curseth thee," as meaning that favour shown to the
Jews--who form merely a fraction of the seed of Abraham--brings with it
peculiar blessings. In reality it would be easier to show by history
that countries and rulers who have protected the Jews have frequently
met with disaster. France banished the Jews in 1394 and again in 1615,
and did not readmit them in large numbers till 1715-19, so that they
were absent throughout the most glorious period in French history--the
_Grand Siecle_ of Louis XIV--whilst their return coincided with the
Regency, from which moment the monarchy of France may be said to have
declined. England likewise banished the Jews in 1290, and it was during
the three and a half centuries they remained in exile that she was known
as "Merrie England." The fact that their return in force in 1664 was
followed the next year by the Great Plague and the year after by the
Great Fire of London would not appear to indicate that the Jews
necessarily bring good fortune to the land that protects them. The truth
is, of course, that kindness to any portion of the human race brings its
own reward in the form of moral improvement in the individual or nation
that performs it, but no more benefit attaches to philanthropy when
exercised towards the Jew than towards the Chinaman.

I would urge, then, that the Jewish problem should be approached neither
in the spirit of superstitious pro-Semitism nor in the bitter spirit of
"anti-Semitism," but with a sanity worthy of an enlightened age. To
quote again the words of Bernard Lazare, let us enquire what part "the
Jew, considering his spirit, his character, the nature of his philosophy
and his religion," may now be taking "in revolutionary processes and
movements." Is there, then, any evidence that there exists amongst Jewry
to-day an organized conspiracy having for its objects world-domination
and the destruction of Christianity such as the famous _Protocols of the
Elders of Zion_ suggest?[836]

The theory of a Jewish world-conspiracy does not, of course, rest on the
evidence of Protocols. To judge by the paeans of joy that rang through
the press after the publication of the _Times_ articles, one would
imagine that with the so-called "refutation" of this one document the
whole case against the Jews had collapsed and that the "anti-Semites"
must be for ever silenced. But the arguments of the Jews and their
friends go further than this; not only do they claim that there is no
Jewish conspiracy, but no world-plot of any kind. This contention they
had indeed maintained from the beginning, and Mr. Lucien Wolf, in his
earliest "refutation" of the Protocols, derided the exponents of the
secret-society danger as vehemently as he derided the perfidious author
of the Jewish Peril. It will in fact always be noticed that references
to the Illuminati meet with almost as much resentment from the Jewish
press as allusions of a directly "anti-Semitic" character. Barruel, who
refused to incriminate the Jews, and de Malet, who never referred to
them at all, are denounced by Mr. Lucien Wolf no less as scaremongers
than Gougenot des Mousseaux or Chabauty. To suggest that any Hidden Hand
has ever been at work in the world is to raise immediately a storm of
Jewish protest.

Yet intelligent Jews must be well aware that, whether secret societies
have contributed as much to past revolutions as these writers believed,
their existence and their very real influence is not a matter of surmise
but of historical fact. No one ever warned the British public more
distinctly of the danger they presented or of the role the Jews were
playing in them than Disraeli, whose famous words have been quoted so
frequently in this connexion: "The world is governed by very different
personages from what is imagined by those who are not behind the
scenes." What is this but a clear recognition of the Hidden Hand? Why,
then, is Disraeli not included with Barruel, Robison, de Malet, and Des
Mousseaux in Mr. Wolf's list of scaremongers? Is it because Disraeli
pointed the moral that, Jews being so dangerous, they should be

       *       *       *       *       *

If, then, leading Jews persist in villifying everyone who reiterates the
warnings uttered by so eminent a member of their race, it is inevitable
that they should come to be suspected of having some interest in
suppressing further revelations.

Setting all such evidence as the Protocols completely aside, let us
examine the reasons for believing in the exisence of a Jewish
world-conspiracy. Now, we know for certain that the five powers before
referred to--Grand Orient Masonry, Theosophy, Pan-Germanism,
International Finance, and Social Revolution--have a very real existence
and exercise a very definite influence on the affairs of the world. Here
we are not dealing with hypothesis but with facts based on documentary
evidence. We know in each case the names of many of the leaders, their
methods of organization, their centres of direction, and the aims they
are pursuing. But with regard to the Jewish power we cannot proceed with
the same certainty. We cannot cite the names of the leaders or the
centres of direction, we cannot produce documentary evidence as to their
methods of organization or their final aims. The very existence of such
a power, in the sense of a united and organized body of Jews working for
the destruction of Christianity and the existing social system, is still
a matter of speculation and not of known fact. Investigations into the
activities of such groups as the B'nai B'rith, Poale Zion, the Jewish
Bund, and the Weltverband (or Jewish International Union of Socialists),
might however throw much light on this question. The custom of printing
their pidgin German, known as Yiddish, in Hebrew characters provides the
Jews with a more or less secret code by means of which their ideas and
aspirations are concealed from the great mass of the Gentiles.

Whether then the Jewish power is unified or not, Jews are to be found
co-operating with, if not directing, all the five powers of which the
existence is known. Thus Jews have long played a leading part in Grand
Orient Masonry[837] and predominate in the upper degrees. As we have
already seen, Freemasonry is always said to be subversive in Roman
Catholic countries. It will also be noticed that in countries where
Freemasonry is subversive, Jews are usually less conspicuous in the
revolutionary movement than in countries where Freemasonry is either
non-existent or constitutional. Thus in France the masonic peril is much
more generally recognized than the Jewish peril; in Italy the Freemasons
have been banned by Mussolini, but the Jews are not regarded by him as a
particular danger; in Portugal it was the Freemasons rather than the
Jews who made the recent revolutions. In Hungary, however, the
revolutionaries were principally both Jews and Freemasons. On the other
hand, in England, Germany, and America, where Freemasonry is not
subversive, the Jewish question is more apparent. All this would suggest
that either Freemasonry is the cover under which the Jews, like the
Illuminati, prefer to work, so that where the cover is not available
they are obliged to come out more into the open, or that Grand Orient
Masonry is the directing power which employs Jews as agents in those
countries where it cannot work on its own account.

The preponderance of Jews in the ranks of "Aurora" has already been
indicated, as also the influence of the Jewish Cabala in the teaching of
Theosophy and Rosicrucianism. But it is important that the latter point
should be further emphasized in connexion with the craze for occultism
that is spreading through society. Ragon has said: "The Cabala is the
key of all occult sciences"; therefore in this field of experiment the
Gentile must always be at a disadvantage with the Jew. Indeed Mr. Waite,
who certainly cannot be suspected of "anti-Semitism," goes so far as to
suggest that the gift of ceremonial magic was "the answer of Jewry to
Christendom as a counter-blast" to "centuries of persecution."[838] It
would be well if every Gentile who has been tempted to dabble in
occultism were to realize this source of inspiration.

The role of Jews in social revolution and particularly in Bolshevism
hardly needs comment. Yet since the Jewish press has chosen to deny this
last and very obvious fact and still persists in setting down to
prejudice or "anti-Semitism" a mere statement of facts, it may be well
to quote here a few official statements on the subject which admit of no

First of all, it must be remembered that the founder and patron saint of
Bolshevism was the Jew Karl Marx, and that it was the Anarchist Bakunin,
not the Duke of Northumberland, who described him and his following in
the Internationale as "the German-Jew Company" and the "red
bureaucracy." It was therefore not surprising that when the "red
bureaucracy," avowedly founded on the doctrines of Marx, came to be set
up in Russia, it should have been largely led by Jews. This is what the
official British White Paper has to say on the matter:

_Extract from Report from the Netherlands Minister at Petrograd on the
6th of September_, 1918, _forwarded by Sir M. Findlay, at Christiania,
to Mr. Balfour_:

     I consider that the immediate suppression of Bolshevism is the
     greatest issue now before the world, not even excluding the war
     which is still raging, and unless, as above stated, Bolshevism is
     nipped in the bud immediately, it is bound to spread in one form or
     another over Europe and the whole world, as it is organized and
     worked by Jews who have no nationality, and whose one object is to
     destroy for their own ends the existing order of things.*[839]

Mr. Alston to Lord Curzon, quoting statement from British Consul at
Ekaterinburg, January 23, 1919:

     The Bolsheviks can no longer be described as a political party
     holding extreme communistic views. They form a relatively small
     privileged class which is able to terrorize the rest of the
     population because it has a monopoly both of arms and of food
     supplies. This class consists chiefly of workmen and soldiers, and
     includes a large non-Russian element, such as Letts and Esthonians
     and Jews; the latter are specially numerous in higher posts.

Lord Kilmarnock to Lord Curzon, quoting information given by Frenchman
from Petrograd, February 3, 1919:

     The Bolsheviks comprised chiefly Jews and Germans, who were
     exceedingly active and enterprising. The Russians were largely
     anti-Bolshevik, but were for the most part dreamers, incapable of
     any sustained action, who now, more than ever before, were unable
     to throw off the yoke of their oppressors.*[839]

Mr. Alston to Lord Curzon, forwarding Report from Consul at Ekaterinburg
of February 6, 1919:

     From examination of several labourer and peasant witnesses, I have
     evidence to the effect that very smallest percentage of this
     district were pro-Bolshevik, majority of labourers sympathizing
     with summoning of Constituent Assembly. Witnesses further stated
     that Bolshevik leaders did not represent Russian working classes,
     most of them being Jews.

The Rev. B.S. Lombard to Lord Curzon, March 23, 1919:

     I have been for ten years in Russia, and have been in Petrograd
     through the whole of the revolution.... [I] had ample opportunity
     of studying Bolshevik methods. It originated in German propaganda,
     and was, and is being, carried out by international Jews. The
     Germans initiated disturbances in order to reduce Russia to chaos.
     They printed masses of paper money to finance their schemes, the
     notes, of which I possess specimens, can be easily recognized by a
     special mark.

As one of the results, the writer adds:

     All business became paralysed, shops were closed, Jews became
     possessors of most of the business houses, and horrible scenes of
     starvation became common in the country districts.

In Hungary (where, as has been said, Socialism had been propagated by
Jews in the masonic lodges[840]) the outbreak of Bolshevism was
conducted under the auspices of the same race. To quote again an
official document on this question, the Report on Revolutionary
Activities issued by a Committee of the New York Legislature, headed by
Senator Lusk[841]:

     There was no organized opposition to Bela Kun. Like Lenin, he
     surrounded himself with commissars, having absolute authority. Of
     the thirty-two principal commissars, twenty-five were Jews, which
     was about the same proportion as in Russia. The most prominent of
     these formed a directorate of five: Bela Kun, Bela Varga, Joseph
     Pogany, Sigmund Kunfi, and one other. Other leaders were Alpari
     and Samuely, who had charge of the Red Terror, and carried out the
     torturing and executing of the bourgeoisie, especially the groups
     held as hostages, the so-called counter-revolutionists and

The same Report publishes a list of seventy-six men prosecuted by the
Committee on the charge of criminal anarchy in America at the beginning
of 1920, of which the overwhelming majority are seen by their names to
be Jewish.[843]

These names speak for themselves and are published without comment on
the obvious nationality of the majority of the persons concerned. So far
indeed does the Lusk Committee appear to have been removed from
"anti-Semitism," that nowhere in its vast Report, running to 2008 pages,
is attention drawn to the preponderance of Jews concerned in the
revolutionary movement, except in the one passage on Hungary quoted
above. The Lusk Report must therefore be regarded as an absolutely
impartial statement of facts.

In view of these official data, how is it possible for the Jewish press
to pretend that a connexion between Jews and Bolshevism is a malicious
invention of the "anti-Semites"? That all Jews are not Bolsheviks and
that all Bolsheviks are not Jews is of course obvious; but that Jews are
playing a preponderating part in Bolshevism it is absurd to deny.

An attempt has been made to show that Jews have suffered as much as the
rest of the population in Russia under Bolshevism and that the Jewish
religion has met with the same hostility as the Christian faith.
Doubtless many Jews have suffered in Russia, since human violence, once
allowed to go unchecked, is liable to express itself in various
unexpected ways, and the resentment of the Russian "proletariat" towards
the Jews was bound to break out under Lenin as under the Tzar. Again, a
campaign against Christianity inevitably led in Russia, as in France, to
a campaign against all forms of religion, and the Jewish Bolsheviks,
being atheists themselves, were doubtless as ready as Lambert of the
French Revolution to turn against the believers in the faith they had

Yet that the Jewish religion suffered to the same extent as
Christianity, or that any organized campaign was conducted against it by
the Government, is effectually disproved by the lamentations of
professing Jews on the death of Lenin.[844] Indeed, as is generally
recognized, the fall of the Soviet Government must mean the downfall of
the Jews from the position of privilege they now occupy.

That in our own country Jews are playing a part in the background of
Bolshevism is again evident. The _Patriot_ recently published a series
of articles giving inside information on the organization of the
revolutionary movement in Great Britain, where it was stated the whole
plot was directed by a group of twelve men. This group in turn was
controlled by three of its members. These three men, as the key
revealed, were all Jews, so also was "the fiend in human form whose
psychological perversion produced this plot,"[845] and who was one of a
group in America consisting of four Jews and a Jewess which controlled
an outer revolutionary group of eighteen.[846] The Irish Republican
Brotherhood also maintained close relations with a ring of revolutionary
Jews in America. Incidentally, it is curious to notice that the language
employed in some of the correspondence that has passed between members
of an inner group bears a strong resemblance to that of Weishaupt and
his fellow-Illuminati.

Jewish influence in the less extreme forms of Socialism in this country
is no less apparent. If the Labour Party is solidly pro-German, it is
also solidly pro-Jewish. Whilst loudly proclaiming pacifism and pressing
for the reduction of armaments, it has never uttered a word of protest
against the employment of British troops to defend Jewish interests
against the Arabs in Palestine. The blessed word Mesopotamia may be
freely mentioned in connexion with the withdrawal of troops from
military adventures, but never the word Palestine. Again, the free
admission of aliens and particularly of Jews into this country has
always been one of the principal planks in the Labour platform. Even the
Jewish capitalist meets with indulgence at the hands of our Socialist
Intellectuals, who whilst inveighing against British owners of property,
never include Jewish millionaires in their diatribes.

This may perhaps throw some light on the question frequently propounded:
How can one believe that Jews advocate Socialism since they stand to
lose everything by it? The fact remains that many Jews do advocate it.
After the recent accession of the Labour Party to office the _Jewish
World_ observed:

     The result of the General Election in England is regarded as very
     gratifying by the Hebrew and Yiddish press. The Hebrew journals in
     Palestine, as well as the Hebrew and Yiddish organs in Europe and
     America, express satisfaction at the return to Parliament of men
     who have repeatedly assured the public of their intention to adhere
     to the Balfour declaration.[847]

A further reason is advanced by the _Jewish Courier_ for rejoicing at
the downfall of the Conservative Government, namely, that "the election
results have wiped out anti-Semitic remnants in England," for "the
Conservative Government does include several members who are far from
favourably disposed towards Jews."[848] The indulgence shown to the Jews
and the honours piled on them by Conservative statesmen therefore
availed nothing to the Conservative cause, and the welfare of the whole
country was subordinated to the interests of the Jews alone.

It is difficult at first to understand how the programme of the "Labour"
Party, even when combined with ardent pro-Semitism, could however be in
accord with the interests of the Jews, who have never displayed any
hostility towards the Capitalist system which Socialism sets out to
destroy. Indeed, we find the same Jewish paper which rejoiced at the
advent of the present Government to office offering birthday
congratulations to the richest Jew in this country, whose wealth, it
goes on to observe with some complacency, "amounts to no less than
L12,000,000 sterling, and is constantly increasing, apart from the
interest that it brings, by the huge profits of the concerns in which he
is interested."[849]

It would seem, then, that in the eyes of Jewry all capitalists are not
to be regarded as monsters who should be mercilessly expropriated.

But in considering the war on Capitalism it is essential to bear
in mind that capitalists are of two kinds: national industrial
capitalists--largely Gentiles and usually men of brains and energy who
have built up flourishing businesses--and international loan-mongering
capitalists, principally, though not exclusively, Jews, who live by
speculation. Whilst to the former, social unrest may prove fatal, to the
latter any disturbances may provide opportunities for profit. As M.
Georges Batault has well expressed it:

     From the strictly financial point of view, the most disastrous
     events of history, wars or revolutions, never represent
     catastrophes; the manipulators of money and the wary business men
     can make profit out of everything, provided they know beforehand
     and are well-informed.... It is certain that the Jews dispersed
     over all the surface of the earth ... are particularly favourably
     situated in this respect.[850]

It is significant to notice that the capitalists most attacked by the
Socialists and Pacifists are not those who make profit out of wars and
revolutions, but those who contribute to the prosperity of the country
and provide work for millions of people. Here, then, the Jews and the
Socialists seem to find a point of agreement. It is evident, at any
rate, that many rich Jews consider that they have nothing to fear from
the threatened Capital Levy and other features of expropriation. Are we
not irresistibly reminded of the passage in the Protocols--where
incidentally the Capital Levy is specifically mentioned--"Ours they will
not touch, because the moment of attack will be known to us and we shall
take measures to protect our own"?

But let us consider further how the Socialist plan for "the
nationalization of all the means of production, distribution, and
exchange" might be reconciled even with the interests of Jewish
Industrial Capitalists. The more we examine this magic formula which is
to transform the world into a Paradise for the workers, the more we
shall see that it approximates to the system of Super Capitalism, of
which, as Werner Sombart has shown, the Jews were the principal
inaugurators. Socialists are fond of explaining that "Capitalism" began
with the introduction of steam; in reality, of course, Capitalism, in
the sense of wealth accumulated in private hands, has always existed
since the first savage made his store of winter food. What Socialists
really mean by Capitalism is the modern system of Industrialism, which
tends to concentrate all the means of production and distribution in the
hands of individuals or groups, who, if they happen to be unscrupulous,
are able by systematic sweating of the worker and bleeding of the
consumer to conduct operations on so large a scale as to crush all
competition by the home worker or the small tradesman.

Obviously, however, with the growing demand of the workers for better
conditions of life and the increasing support lent to them by
enlightened public opinion this possibility cannot continue
indefinitely, and unless a violent convulsion takes place the time will
come when great industrial magnates will have to content themselves with
moderate profits on their outlay. Thus although at first sight it might
appear that the Super-Capitalist must desire to maintain the existing
order of things, if he is far-seeing he must realize that profiteering
under present conditions must soon cease.

It is therefore conceivable that even the Jewish Industrial Capitalist
may see in the nationalization of industry a preferable alternative to
the limitation of profits under private enterprise. The same financial
acumen and skill in management which has enabled him to control rings
and trusts in the past would ensure him a place at the head of
nationalized industries, which in effect would be nothing but gigantic
trusts nominally under State control but really, like all State
enterprises, in the hands of a few men. Under Socialism the position of
these trusts would be rendered impregnable. For whilst under the present
system any individual or group may set out to break a trust, no such
competition would be possible in a State where private enterprise had
been made illegal. The men in control of nationalized industries would
therefore be able to exercise absolute authority both over the worker
and the consumer. Further, if the worker can be persuaded to accept the
ultimate scheme of Communism, which is compulsory labour in return for
no monetary remuneration, but merely a daily ration of food and the
other necessaries of life whenever State officials decide that he
requires them, the directors of Labour, like the overseers in a slave
plantation, will be able, as in Russia, to impose any conditions they

The Jews may well hope to occupy these posts, not only because of their
aptitude for organization on so large a scale, but because their
international relations would facilitate the sale or barter of goods
between countries. The cohesion which exists amongst them would speedily
lead to the monopolization of all the higher posts by members of their

It is idle to dismiss such a possibility as a chimera. This is what
happened in Russia and is happening in Germany to-day. Here, then, we
may find perhaps the inner meaning of a remark attributed to a
prominent member of the Labour Party, that under Socialism a certain
well-known Jewish capitalist might well be worth L10,000 a year. Lenin
expressed much the same idea when he said that the Russian Soviet
Republic might require a thousand first-class specialists "to direct the
work of the people," and that "these greatest 'stars' must be paid
25,000 roubles each," or even four times that sum, supposing it were
necessary to employ foreign specialists for the purpose.[851]

But the Jewish capitalists doubtless see further that in England, as in
Russia, this condition of things would be merely a temporary phase, and
that the institution of Socialism by dispossessing the present Gentile
owners of wealth and property would pave the way for a Jewish and German
plutocracy. In Russia wealth has not been altogether destroyed; it has
simply changed hands, and a class of new rich has sprung up which meets
with no hostility from the professed advocates of equality. Those Jews
who see in the Christian Intelligentsia the main obstacle to their dream
of world-power, therefore naturally find in the promoters of
class-warfare their most valuable allies. For the Christian
Intelligentsia is the sole bare to the enslavement of the proletariat;
most of the movements to redress the wrongs of the workers, from Lord
Shaftesbury's onwards, have arisen not amongst the workers themselves,
but amongst the upper or middle classes[852]; once these were swept away
an iron bureaucracy would have the workers at their mercy. I do not say
this is the plan, but I do say that such a hypothesis provides a reason
for the otherwise unaccountable indulgence displayed by Socialists
everywhere towards wealthy Jews and at the same time for the huge funds
the Socialists appear to have at their disposal.

If big financiers are not at their back, I repeat: where does all the
money come from? It seems unlikely that it can be derived from the
British owners of wealth and property whom the Socialists are openly out
to dispossess; the only body of financiers which can therefore be
suspected of contributing towards this end is the body known as
"International Finance," which is mainly, though not exclusively,

The influence of the Jews in all the five great powers at work in the
world--Grand Orient Masonry, Theosophy, Pan-Germanism, International
Finance, and Social Revolution--is not a matter of surmise but of fact.
Let us now examine what part they are playing in the minor subversive
movements enumerated in an earlier chapter.

Freud, the inventor of the most dangerous form of Psycho-Analysis, is a
Jew. In this connexion the eminent American neuro-psychiatrist before
quoted writes:

     Not only the Freud theory of psycho-analysis but a considerable
     quantity of pseudo-scientific propaganda of that type has for years
     been emanating from a group of German Jews who live and have their
     headquarters in Vienna. From its inception, psycho-analysis has
     been in Jewish hands. There are not half a dozen physicians in the
     whole world, recognized as authorities in this field, whose names
     are identified with this movement who are not Jews. This may have
     been an accident, but nevertheless it is a fact.[853]

I have already referred in an earlier chapter to the question of
degenerate art defined in a circular to the _New York Herald_ as "the
deification of ugliness."[854] The originators of this cult are here
described as a group of Satan worshippers in Paris, and the dealers by
whom the movement was propagated as "Germans," but we note amongst the
lenders to the exhibition at which these "works of art" were displayed
several Jewish names. Of one well-known Jewish artist a critic has

     Were these works the product of a man who had imperfect control
     over his material, who, in stumbling towards the light, dwelt
     inevitably upon much darkness, who sought for beauty and found
     ugliness, who looked for purity and found filth--even then one
     might be silent and hope for better things to come. But here,
     apparently, unless my whole reading is ludicrously wrong, he
     delights in deformity and glories in degradation.... He brings to
     the world of art a new gospel, a black gospel, a gospel in which
     everything is to be inverted and distorted. Whatsoever things are
     hideous, whatsoever things are of evil report, whatsoever things
     are sordid: if there be any unhealthiness or any degradation: think
     on these things.

What better resume could be given of that tendency to perversion
denounced by the prophet Isaiah in the words: "Woe unto them that call
evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for
darkness"? An organ of the Jewish press, with that sense of solidarity
which always rallies Jews to the defence of their compatriots however
culpable, immediately detects in the critic's expression of opinion the
insidious work of "anti-Semitism." A more enlightened Jew, Mr. Frank L.
Emanuel, however, having come to the support of the Gentile critic, the
Jewish journal is obliged to admit the justice of his contention that
"it is lamentable to think of the undue proportion of young Jews" who
"have joined the Revolutionary or sham 'Modern Art' movement in this

The same influence will be noticed in the cinema world, where, as has
already been pointed out, history is systematically falsified in the
interests of class hatred, and everything that can tend, whilst keeping
within the present law, to undermine patriotism or morality is pressed
upon the public. And the cinema trade is almost entirely in the hands of
the Jews.

In the drug traffic Jews are playing a prominent part both here and in
America. An eminent New York doctor writes to me as follows:

     Members of the Federal narcotic squad attached to the Treasury
     Department and having the function of enforcing the provisions of
     the Harrison Act have long been convinced that there is a direct
     relationship between Radicalism and narcotism. From seven to ten
     years ago this was thought to be a manifestation of pan-German
     propaganda. Activity was and still is greater on the part of the
     distributors and pedlars than is to be accounted for by the large
     profits, according to their story. Curiously enough, the traffic
     largely stopped for several weeks following the signing of the

     In one instance, seven regularly licensed physicians of the "East
     Side," all Jews, were arrested in succession during the summer of
     1920 for illegitimate use of narcotic prescriptions, and every
     office raided had large quantities of Radical literature. Such
     associations are not uncommon.

     As to the distribution, a recent investigation by _Hearst's
     Magazine_ definitely revealed the fact that the illegitimate
     distributors were almost invariably of the Jewish race, and that
     the pedlars were exclusively Jewish and Italian.

Enough, then, has been said to show that, whether as agents or as
principals, Jews are playing a part in all subversive movements. A
Christian Jew, no renegade to his race but deeply concerned for their
future development, said recently to the present writer: "The growing
materialism amongst Jews has made them the most destructive force in the
world. The only hope for them is to accept Christianity. At present
they are the greatest danger that Christian civilization has to face."

The recognition of all these facts does not of course imply the belief
that all Jews are destructive. Undoubtedly there are good and loyal
Jews--particularly in France, where the Sephardim predominate--who have
absolutely identified themselves with the country of their adoption, and
are sincerely opposed to Bolshevism. But these isolated individuals
carry little weight compared to the massed forces of subversive Jewry.
The same thing was observed in America, where a report privately
communicated to the present writer in 1923 stated:

     It appears not without significance that Radical literature is
     never anti-Semitic, but, on the contrary, manifestoes issued by the
     Executive Committee of the Communist Party are often emphatically
     pro-Jewish. So far as I know, there is not one exclusively Jewish
     organization in the United States which is openly and consistently
     fighting Radicalism. Conservative Judaism loyal to the United
     States and its institutions as conceived by its founders is
     unorganized and inarticulate.

When, therefore, the Jewish press protests at the injustice of
associating Jews with Bolshevism it may be legitimately answered: What
has Jewry done collectively to disassociate itself from Bolshevism?[855]
What official protests has the Jewish press uttered against any
subversive movement except when Jewish interests were threatened?[856]
Has it not, on the contrary, denounced all patriotic efforts to oppose
the forces of destruction whenever such efforts necessitated the
exposure of the corrupt elements in Jewry?

But these tactics have not been confined to the Jewish press alone. The
general press of this country, over which the Jews exercise an
increasing control, has followed the same policy. This process of
penetration began long ago on the Continent. As early as 1846 an English
missionary to the Jews in Berlin wrote:

     Independently of the fifteen exclusively Jewish journals of
     Germany, four of which have made their appearance since the
     beginning of the present year, the daily political press of Europe
     is very much under the dominion of the Jews; as literary
     contributors, they influence almost every leading Continental
     newspaper, and as controversy seems to be their native air, and
     they bring into the field mental energies of no ordinary stamp,
     they find no lack of employment, and if any literary opponent
     ventures to endeavour to arrest the progress of Judaism to
     political power, he finds himself held up to public notice, and
     exposed to attack after attack in most of the leading journals of
     Europe. Such ... was the lot of a Roman Catholic priest of Prague,
     who lately wrote a pamphlet entitled _Guter Rath fur Zeit der
     Noth_, directed against the advancing power of Judaism. And such is
     my conviction of the extent of the participation the Jews take in
     the everyday literature of Germany, that I never pass by a crowded
     reading-room, but what I think I see standing behind the scenes a
     Jew, causing new ideas to rise and stir, and develop themselves in
     the unsuspecting mind of the Gentile.[857]

Do we not see the same methods being pursued with still greater vigour
to-day? It would not be an exaggeration to say that there is hardly a
periodical in this country with the exception of _The Patriot_ that
dares to speak out freely on questions in which the interests of Jews
are involved.

The fact is that the whole educational as well as the whole political
and social world is permeated with Jewish influence. Every man in public
life, every modern politician, to whatever party he belongs, seems to
find it _de rigueur_ to have his confidential Jewish adviser at his
elbow, just as in the Middle Ages a prince had his Jewish doctor always
at hand to mix his potions and ensure him long life. This appears to be
owing not only to the utility of the Jew in financing projects, but to
the almost universal belief in the superior intelligence of the Jewish
race which the Jew has succeeded in implanting in the Gentile mind.

But the time has come to ask: Is the Jew really the super-man we have
been taught to consider him? On examination we shall find that in the
present as in the past his talents are displayed principally along two
lines--financial and occult. Usurers in the Middle Ages, financiers
to-day, the Jews have always excelled in the making and manipulating of
wealth. And just as at the former period they were the great masters of
magic, so at the present time they are the masters of the almost
magical art of gaining control over the mind both of the individual and
of the public.

Yet in the realms of literature, philosophy, painting, sculpture,
politics, and even science, Jews will be found frequently occupying the
second or third ranks, and only very seldom the first. Heine may be
cited as a poet of the first order, Spinoza as a philosopher, Disraeli
as a statesman, but it would be difficult to prolong the list. On the
stage and in music alone can the Jews be said to have proved absolutely
the equals of their Gentile competitors. The fact is that the Jew is not
usually a man of vast conceptions, nor is he endowed with great
originality of mind; his skill consists rather in elaborating or in
adapting other men's ideas and rendering them more effectual. Thus the
most important inventions of modern times have not been made by Jews,
but have been frequently improved by them. Neither James Watt,
Stephenson, Marconi, Edison, Pasteur, nor Madame Curie were of the
Jewish race, and the same might be said of nearly all the greatest men
who have lived since the dawn of our civilization. Napoleon was not a
Jew, nor was Shakespeare, nor Bacon, nor Sir Isaac Newton, nor Michael
Angelo, nor Leonardo da Vinci, nor Galileo, nor Dante, nor Descartes,
nor Moliere, nor Emerson, nor Abraham Lincoln, nor Goethe, nor Kant, nor
even Machiavelli. Thrown on their own resources, what civilization were
the Jews able to create? Whilst Egypt, Greece, and Rome have left
immortal monuments, what monuments has Palestine bequeathed to the

The Jews, then, provide a high average of cleverness, but have they ever
during the last two thousand years produced one mighty genius? Moreover,
against this high average of intelligence must be set an equally high
average of mental derangement. On this point we have the evidence of the
_Jewish Encyclopaedia_:

     The Jews are more subject to diseases of the nervous system than
     the other races and peoples among which they dwell. Hysteria and
     neurasthenia appear to be most frequent. Some physicians of large
     experience among Jews have even gone so far as to state that most
     of them are neurasthenic and hysterical. Tobler claims that all
     the Jewish women in Palestine are hysterical; and Raymond says that
     in Warsaw, Poland, hysteria is very frequently met with among both
     Jewish men and Jewish women. The Jewish population of that city
     alone is almost exclusively the inexhaustible source for the supply
     of hysterical males for the clinics of the whole Continent
     (_L'Etude des Maladies du Systeme Nerveux en Russie_). As regards
     Austria and Germany, the same neurotic taint of the Jews has been
     emphasized by Krafft, Ebbing, etc.... In New York it has been shown
     by Collins that among 333 cases of neurasthenia which came under
     his observation, more than 40 per cent, were of Jewish extraction,

The same American neuro-psychiatrist already quoted attributes the
predominance of Jews in the revolutionary movement in America largely to
this cause:

     Anarchists have been developed largely from the criminal classes,
     and a belief in anarchy, _per se_, is a psychopathic manifestation.
     A student of anarchy, therefore, would not only be obliged to cover
     the field of criminology, but its more significant and important
     background, psycho-pathology. Some anarchists are actually insane,
     while others show marked psychological deficiencies. Under our laws
     as they are now framed, they cannot be restrained unless they
     commit acts of violence.

     As it is, our asylums are filled with this class, and that
     introduces another phase of the matter. Our asylum insane are
     largely recruited from the Jewish race, at least recruited in
     tremendous disproportion to their number in the population. The
     fact that the revolutionary movement is so largely made up of
     Jewish elements furnishes an interesting confirmation of what I
     have said.

The _Jewish World_, recently commenting on the "generally admitted" fact
that "the percentage of mental disorders among Jews is much greater than
among non-Jews," asks: "Is the cause inherent, that is to say, is there
a racial disposition towards degeneracy, or is it the result of the
external conditions and causes?" The writer goes on to refer to an
article in the _Zukunft_ which supports the view that the terrible
experiences of the Jews in the Middle Ages have affected their nervous
system, and therefore that the cause of mental derangement amongst them
"is not due to racial disposition, is not an ethnic principle, but is the
result of the tragic lot of the Jewish people."[860] It might perhaps
be traced more surely to the habit of brooding on that tragic lot. At
any rate, it is curious to notice that the two symptoms recognized in
the first stages of "general paralysis of the insane," the mania that
one is the object of persecution and "exalted ideas" (known in France as
the _folie des grandeurs_), are the two obsessions that the Talmud and
the Cabala with their dreams of world-domination under an avenging
Messiah have inculcated in the mind of the Jew.

But whatever are the causes of this neurosis, it is surely undesirable
that a race which exhibits it should be allowed to control the destinies
of the British Empire or indeed of any country. If "all the Jewish women
in Palestine are hysterical," presumably many of their menkind suffer
from the same disability, which certainly does not promise well for the
luckless Arab who is to live beneath their sway. How much of the trouble
that has occurred already in Palestine may be attributed to this cause
it is impossible to know. The increasing number of Jews in positions of
authority in England presents, however, a far greater subject for alarm.
Jews and Arabs are at any rate both Semites and may be expected to have
certain ideas in common, but to place a highly civilized Aryan race
under Semitic control is another matter. The time has come for every
Briton to ask himself whether he seriously desires to see the traditions
of his country, those great traditions of honour, integrity, and justice
which have made the name of England great, replaced by Oriental
standards. I do not say that there are no honourable and upright Jews,
but I do maintain that the spirit of fair play which is the essence of
the British character is not the characteristic of the Jewish race in
general. The complete absence of this spirit shown in the attempts of
agitators to suppress free speech during elections cannot be attributed
to English working-men--whose "sporting" instinct is highly
developed--and testifies to the alien character of the so-called Labour
movement. If England loses the spirit of fair play, she will have lost
her most priceless national heritage.

Conservatism, which has always stood for these great traditions, allows
itself to be hypnotized by the memory of Disraeli and accepts his dictum
that "the natural tendency of the Jews is to Conservatism"--hence the
advisability of placing Jews in control of its interests. The late Mr.
Hyndman saw further when he warned us that "those who are accustomed to
look upon all Jews as essentially practical and conservative, as
certain, too, to enlist on the side of the prevailing social system,
will be obliged to reconsider their conclusions."[861] The causes of
the recent _debacle_ of the Conservative Government are still obscure,
but the fact remains that it was precisely at a moment when Conservative
organization had passed largely into Jewish hands that Conservatism met
with the most astounding disaster in the whole of its history. If the
manner in which Conservative propaganda was conducted at this moment was
an example of Jewish efficiency, it might be well to consider whether on
a future occasion the task should not be confided into the hands of
simple Britons.

_The only effectual way of combating Socialism is to show up the alien
influences behind it_. As long as the working man believes it to be the
outcome of a genuine British labour movement, he will turn a deaf ear to
all warnings and anti-Socialist propaganda will merely serve to drive
more recruits into the Socialist camp. But let him once suspect that he
is being made the tool of foreign intrigue, and all his national feeling
will assert itself. We have only to ask him whether he wants his work
taken from him by the import of alien goods, his housing accommodation
appropriated by alien immigrants, finally to make him understand who are
the people behind the scenes advocating a policy so disastrous to his
true interests, in order to gain his support. The Secret Service has
overwhelming evidence on this last point, which under a Conservative
Government might have been made public, but unseen influences in high
places have ordained its suppression. The slogan "Britain for the
Britons," that would form the strongest counterblast to the false
slogans of Socialism, has been barred from Conservative platforms and
the very word "alien" avoided lest it should offend Jewish
susceptibilities. Thus out of deference to the Jews, Conservatism allows
its most powerful weapon to rust in its armoury.

In reality these tactics avail nothing to the Conservative cause. The
great weight of Jewry will never be thrown into the scale of true
Conservatism; only in so far as Conservatism abandons its patriotic
traditions and compromises with the forces of Internationalism will it
win any considerable Jewish support. We have but to follow the
commitments on current politics in the Jewish press in order to realize
that the only standard by which the Jews judge of any political party is
the measure in which it will confer exclusive advantages on their own
race. The Jewish question, therefore, does not turn on whether the Jews
shall be accorded everywhere equal rights with the rest of mankind, but
whether they shall be placed above the law, whether they shall be
allowed to occupy everywhere a privileged position.[862] Nothing less
will satisfy them, and any attempt to oppose this claim will always be
met by them with the cry of "persecution." Further, this position of
privilege represents to a section of Jewry merely a stage on the road to
world-domination. For if, as we have seen by documentary evidence, this
plan has always existed in the past, is it likely that it has been
abandoned at the very moment which seems most propitious for its
realization? The trend of present events and the tone of the Jewish
press certainly do not warrant any such conclusion.

To sum up, then, I do not think that the Jews can be proved to provide
the sole cause of world-unrest. In order to establish this contention we
should be obliged to show the Jews to have been the authors of every
past social convulsion in the history of modern civilization, to
discover their influence behind the heretical sects of Islam, as behind
the Bavarian Illuminati and the Anarchists of Russia. In the absence of
any such conclusive evidence we must therefore recognize the existence
of other destructive forces at work in the world.

But this is not to underrate the importance of the Jewish peril.
Although the existence of an inner circle of Masonic "Elders" remains
problematical, Jewry in itself constitutes the most effectual
Freemasonry in the world. What need of initiations, or oaths, or signs,
or passwords amongst people who perfectly understand each other and are
everywhere working for the same end? Far more potent than the sign of
distress that summons Freemasons to each other's aid at moments of peril
is the call of the blood that rallies the most divergent elements in
Jewry to the defence of the Jewish cause.

The old complaint of the French merchants already quoted would thus
appear to be justified, that "the Jews are particles of quicksilver,
which at the least slant run together into a block." One must therefore
not be deceived by the fact that they often appear disunited. There may
be, and indeed is, very little unity amongst Jews, but there is immense
solidarity. A Jew named Morel, referring to the persecution of the
converted Rabbi Drach by the Jews, observes:

     What can the wisest measures of the authorities of all countries do
     against _the vast and permanent conspiracy of a people_ which, like
     a network as vast as it is strong, stretched over the whole globe,
     brings its force to bear wherever an event occurs that interests
     the name of Israelite?[863]

It is this solidarity that constitutes the real Jewish Peril and at the
same time provides the real cause of "anti-Semitism." If in a world
where all patriotism, all national traditions, and all Christian virtues
are being systematically destroyed by the doctrines of International
Socialism one race alone, a race that since time immemorial has
cherished the dream of world-power, is not only allowed but encouraged
to consolidate itself, to maintain all its national traditions, and to
fulfil all its national aspirations at the expense of other races, it is
evident that Christian civilization must be eventually obliterated. The
wave of anti-Jewish feeling that during the last few years has been
passing over this country has nothing in common with the racial hatred
that inspires the "anti-Semitism" of Germany; it is simply the answer to
a pretension that liberty-loving Britons will not admit. Those of us
who, sacrificing popularity and monetary gain, dare to speak out on this
question have no hatred in our hearts, but only love for our country. We
believe that not only our national security but our great national
traditions are at stake, and that unless England awakens in time she
will pass under alien domination and her influence as the stronghold of
Christian civilization will be lost to the world.


We have now followed the course of associations working throughout
nineteen centuries to undermine social and moral order and above all
Christian civilization. We have also seen that although on the one hand
the unholy spirit of destruction and on the other the natural spirit of
revolt against oppression have always existed independently of any
organization, it is to secret societies using and organizing these
forces that the revolutionary movement has owed its success. Further, we
have considered the possibility that behind both open and secret
subversive societies there may exist a hidden centre of direction, and
finally we have observed that at the present time many lines of
investigation reveal a connexion between these groups and the Grand
Orient, or rather with an invisible circle concealed behind that great
masonic power. At the same time this circle is clearly not French in
character since everywhere the activities of World Revolution are
directed against France and England but seldom against Germany and never
against the Jews. It would not be an exaggeration to say that no
subversive movement in the world to-day is either pro-French,
pro-British, or "anti-Semitic." We must conclude then that if one Power
controls the rest it is either the Pan-German Power, the Jewish Power or
what we can only call Illuminism.

This last hypothesis is one that deserves serious consideration. In the
light of our present knowledge it does not appear impossible that if an
inner circle of World Revolution exists it consists of a purely
International group of men whose aim is that of Weishaupt--the
destruction of the present system of society. That such an aim can be
seriously entertained is shown by the fact that it is openly proclaimed
by a whole school of writers and thinkers ranging from gentle Idealists
to ferocious Anarchists who, whilst widely differing as to methods and
the ultimate ends to be attained, are agreed on the common purpose
expressed by Rabaud de Saint-Etienne in the words: "Everything, yes,
everything must be destroyed, since everything must be re-made."

It is idle to say that so insane a project can present no danger to the
world; the fact remains that an increasing number of people regard it
with perfect equanimity. The phrase: "All civilizations have passed
away; ours will doubtless pass away likewise," is continually to be
heard on the lips of apparently sane men and women who, whether they
advocate such an eventuality or not, seem prepared to accept it in a
spirit of complete fatalism and to put up no resistance. The point they
ignore is that when civilization existed only in isolated spots on the
earth's surface it might pass away in one spot only to spring to life in
another, but now that civilization is world-wide the dream of a return to
nature and the joys of savagery conjured up by Rousseau and Weishaupt
can never be realized. Yet if civilization in a material sense cannot be
destroyed, it is none the less possible to take the soul out of it, to
reduce it to a dead and heartless machine without human feelings or
divine aspirations. The Bolsheviks continue to exist amidst telephones,
electric light, and other amenities of modern life, but they have almost
killed the soul of Russia. In this sense then civilization may pass
away, not as the civilizations of the ancient world passed away, leaving
only desert sands and crumbling ruins behind them, but vanishing
imperceptibly from beneath the outward structure of our existing
institutions. Here is the final goal of world revolution.

If, then, one inner circle exists, composed of Illuminati animated by a
purely destructive purpose it is conceivable that they might find
support in those Germans who desire to disintegrate the countries of the
Allies with a view to future conquests, and in those Jews who hope to
establish their empire on the ruins of Christian civilization--hence the
superb organization and the immense financial resources at the disposal
of the world revolutionaries. On the other hand it may be that the
hidden centre of direction consists in a circle of Jews located in the
background of the Grand Orient, or perhaps, like the early
nineteenth-century Illuminati, located nowhere but working in accord and
using both Pan-Germans and Gentile Illuminati as their tools.

On this point I think it would be dangerous at present to dogmatize. But
that the problem is capable of elucidation I have no doubt whatever. If
the Secret Services of the world had chosen to co-ordinate and make
public the facts in their possession the whole plot might long since
have been laid bare. A "Department for the Investigation of Subversive
Movements" should have had a place in every ordered government. This
might have been created by the recent Conservative Government in
England, but the same mysterious influence that protected the enemy
during the Great War has throughout prevented disclosures that would
have enlightened the country on the real nature of the peril confronting
it. In the present state of European politics the only course open to
those who would save civilization is to act independently of
governments, and form a counter-organization in each country with
unofficial bureaux of information maintaining relations with each other,
yet each retaining its national character.

As far as this country is concerned I am convinced that only a great
national movement can save us from destruction--a movement in which men
of all classes and above all of the working-class will take part.
Fascismo triumphed in Italy, because it was not, as it has been absurdly
represented, a reactionary movement, but because it was essentially
democratic and progressive, because by appealing to the noblest
instincts in human nature, to patriotism and self-sacrifice, it rallied
all elements in a disorganized and disunited nation around the standard
of a common cause.

One cannot bring about any great movement without first kindling a
sacred fire in the hearts of men; one cannot move masses of people
merely by appealing to self-interest; they must have a cause to fight
for, a cause that is not entirely their own. Socialism, whilst enlisting
a large proportion of its following by appealing to their baser
instincts, has nevertheless, by its false ideals and promises, been able
to kindle a fire in many generous hearts, and to persuade deluded
enthusiasts that they are working for the welfare of humanity. The only
way to combat Socialism is to create counter enthusiasm for a true

Yet even Mussolini found that a purely secular ideal was not enough, and
that the spirit of religious fervour was necessary to defeat the spirit
of materialism and destruction. For behind the concrete forces of
revolution--whether Pan-German, Judaic, or Illuminist--beyond that
invisible secret circle which perhaps directs them all, is there not yet
another force, still more potent, that must be taken into account? In
looking back over the centuries at the dark episodes that have marked
the history of the human race from its earliest origins--strange and
horrible cults, waves of witchcraft, blasphemies, and desecrations--how
is it possible to ignore the existence of an Occult Power at work in the
world? Individuals, sects, or races fired with the desire of
world-domination, have provided the fighting forces of destruction, but
behind them are the veritable powers of darkness in eternal conflict
with the powers of light.




The denunciation of the Talmud by the Jew Pfefferkorn in 1509 and the
ex-Rabbi Drach in 1844 have been quoted in the course of this book.
Graetz however, in his _History of the Jews_, quotes an earlier incident
of this kind.[864] In the thirteenth century a converted Jew and former
Talmudist Donin who, on his baptism, assumed the name of Nicholas,
presented himself before the Pope, Gregory IX, "and brought charges
against the Talmud, saying that it distorted the words of Holy Writ, and
in the Agadic portions of it there were to be found disgraceful
representations of God," that it contained many gross errors and
absurdities, further that "it was filled with abuse against the founder
of the Christian religion and the Virgin. Donin demonstrated that it was
the Talmud which prevented the Jews from accepting Christianity, and
that without it they would certainly have abandoned their state of
unbelief." Again "he stated that the Talmudical writings taught it was a
meritorious action to kill the best man among the Christians[865] ...
that it was lawful to deceive a Christian without any scruple; that it
was permitted to Jews to break a promise made on oath." These Graetz
describes as lying charges.

The Jews were accordingly ordered by the Pope to hand over all their
copies of the Talmud to the Dominicans and Franciscans for examination,
and if their judgment should corroborate the charges of Nicholas Donin,
they were to burn the volumes of the Talmud (June 9, 1239).

In France Graetz goes on to relate that "the priest-ridden and
weak-minded Louis IX"--that is to say, Saint Louis--pursued the same
course. "The Talmud was put on its trial. Four distinguished Rabbis of
North France were commanded by the King to hold a public disputation
with Nicholas, either to refute the imputations levelled against the
Talmud, or to make confession of the abuse against Christianity and the
blasphemies against God that it contained."

It is impossible to imagine a fairer decision, and the queen-mother,
Blanche de Castille, was careful to assure the first witness summoned
that if the lives of the Rabbis were in danger she would protect them
and that he was only required to answer the questions that would be
asked of him. Now, there would have been nothing simpler than for the
Rabbis to admit honestly that these offensive passages existed, that
they had been written perhaps in moments of passion in a less
enlightened age, that they recognized the indelicacy of insulting the
religion of the country in which they lived, and that therefore such
passages should henceforth be deleted. But instead of adopting this
straightforward course, which might have put an end for ever to attacks
on the book they held sacred, the Rabbis proceeded to deny the existence
of the "alleged blasphemous and immoral expressions" and to declare that
"the odious facts related in the Talmud concerning a Jesus, the son of
Pantheras, had no reference to Jesus of Nazareth, but to one of a
similar name who had lived long before him." Graetz, who admits that
this was an error and that the passages in question did relate to the
Jesus of the Christians, represents the Rabbis as being merely "misled"
on the question. But the King, who was not misled by the Rabbis, ordered
all copies of the Talmud to be burnt, and in June 1242 these were
committed to the flames.[866]

The Talmud, however, continued to exist, and it was not until 1640 that,
as we have already seen, the offending passages against Christ were
expunged by the Rabbis as a measure of expediency. Now that they have
been replaced, no further attempt is made to deny that they refer to the
founder of Christianity. As far as I am aware they are not included in
any English translation of the Talmud, but may be found in an English
version of Dr. Gustav H. Dalman's book, _Jesus Christus im Talmud_



Contrary to the assertions of certain writers, I have never affirmed my
belief in the authenticity of the Protocols, but have always treated it
as an entirely open question.[867] The only opinion to which I have
committed myself is that, whether genuine or not, the Protocols do
represent the programme of world revolution, and that in view of their
prophetic nature and of their extraordinary resemblance to the protocols
of certain secret societies in the past, they were either the work of
some such society or of someone profoundly versed in the lore of secret
societies who was able to reproduce their ideas and phraseology.

The so-called refutation of the Protocols which appeared in the _Times_
of August 1922, tends to confirm this opinion. According to these
articles the Protocols were largely copied from the book of Maurice
Joly, _Dialogues aux Enfers entre Machiavel et Montesquieu_, published
in 1864. Let it be said at once that the resemblance between the two
works could not be accidental, not only are whole paragraphs almost
identical, but the various points in the programme follow each other in
precisely the same order. But whether Nilus copied from Joly or _from
the same source whence Joly derived his ideas_ is another question. It
will be noticed that Joly in his preface never claimed to have
originated the scheme described in his book; on the contrary he
distinctly states that it "personifies in particular a political system
which has not varied for a single day in its application since the
disastrous and alas! too far-off date of its enthronement." Could this
refer only to the government of Napoleon III, established twelve years
earlier? Or might it not be taken to signify a Machiavellian system of
government of which Napoleon III was suspected by Joly at this moment of
being the exponent? We have already seen that this system is said by M.
de Mazeres, in his book _De Machiavel et de l'influence de sa doctrine
sur les opinions, les moeurs et la politique de la France pendant la
Revolution_, published in 1816, to have been inaugurated by the French
Revolution, and to have been carried on by Napoleon I against whom he
brings precisely the same accusations of Machiavellism that Joly brings
against Napoleon III. "The author of _The Prince_," he writes, "was
always his guide," and he goes on to describe the "parrot cries placed
in the mouths of the people," the "hired writers, salaried newspapers,
mercenary poets and corrupt ministers employed to mislead our vanity
methodically"--all this being carried on by "the scholars of Machiavelli
under the orders of his cleverest disciple." We have already traced the
course of these methods from the Illuminati onwards.

Now precisely at the moment when Joly published his _Dialogues aux
Enfers_ the secret societies were particularly active, and since by this
date a number of Jews had penetrated into their ranks a whole crop of
literary efforts directed against Jews and secret societies marked the
decade. Eckert with his work on Freemasonry in 1852 had given the
incentive; Cretineau Joly followed in 1859 with _L'Eglise Romaine en
face de la Revolution_, reproducing the documents of the Haute Vente
Romaine; in 1868 came the book of the German anti-Semite Goedsche, and
in the following year on a higher plane the work of Gougenot Des
Mousseaux, _Le Juif, le Judaisme, et la Judaisation des Peuples
Chretiens_. Meanwhile in 1860 the _Alliance Israelite Universelle_ had
arisen, having for its ultimate object "the great work of humanity, the
annihilation of error and fanaticism, the union of human society in a
faithful and solid fraternity"--a formula singularly reminiscent of
Grand Orient philosophy; in 1864 Karl Marx obtained control of the
two-year-old "International Working Men's Association," by which a
number of secret societies became absorbed, and in the same year Bakunin
founded his _Alliance Sociale Democratique_ on the exact lines of
Weishaupt's Illuminism, and in 1869 wrote his _Polemique contre les
Juifs_ (or _Etude sur les Juifs allemands_) mainly directed against the
Jews of the _Internationale_. The sixties of the last century therefore
mark an important era in the history of the secret societies, and it was
right in the middle of this period that Maurice Joly published his book.

Now it will be remembered that amongst the sets of parallels to the
Protocols quoted by me in _World Revolution_, two were taken from the
sources above quoted--the documents of the Haute Vente Romaine and the
programme of Bakunin's secret society, the _Alliance Sociale
Democratique_. Meanwhile Mr. Lucien Wolf had found another parallel to
the Protocols in Goedsche's book. "The Protocols," Mr. Wolf had no
hesitation in asserting, "are, in short, an amplified imitation of
Goedsche's handiwork"[868] and he went on to show that "Nilus followed
this pamphlet very closely." The Protocols were then declared by Mr.
Wolf and his friends to have been completely and finally refuted.

But alas for Mr. Wolfe's discernment! The _Times_ articles came and
abolished the whole of his carefully constructed theory. They did not,
however, demolish mine; on the contrary, they supplied another and a
very curious link in the chain of evidence. For is it not remarkable
that one of the sets of parallels quoted by me appeared in the same year
as Joly's book, and that within the space of nine years no less than
four parallels to the Protocols should have been discovered? Let us
recapitulate the events of this decade in the form of a table and the
proximity of dates will then be more apparent:

    1859. Cretineau Joly's book published containing documents of
          Haute Vente Romaine (parallels quoted by me).

    1860. _Alliance Israelite Universelle_ founded.

    1864. _1st Internationale_ taken over by Karl Marx.

      "   _Alliance Sociale Democratique_ of Bakunin founded
          (parallels quoted by me).
      "   Maurice Joly's _Dialogue aux Enfers_ published
         (parallels quoted by _Times_).

    1866. 1st Congress of Internationale at Geneva.

    1868. Goedsche's _Biarritz_ (parallels quoted by Mr. Lucien

    1869. Gougenot Des Mousseaux's _Le Juif_, etc.

      "   Bakunin's _Polemique contre les Juifs_.

It will be seen, then, that at the moment when Maurice Joly wrote his
_Dialogues_, the ideas they embodied were current in many different
circles. It is interesting, moreover, to notice that the authors of the
last two works referred to above, the Catholic and Royalist Des
Mousseaux and the Anarchist Bakunin, between whom it is impossible to
imagine any connexion, both in the same year denounced the growing power
of the Jews whom Bakunin described as "the most formidable sect" in
Europe, and again asserted that a leakage of information had taken place
in the secret societies. Thus in 1870 Bakunin explains that his secret
society has been broken up because its secrets have been given
away,[869] and that his colleague Netchaieff has arrived at the
conclusion that "in order to found a serious and indestructible society
one must take for a basis the policy of Machiavelli."[870] Meanwhile
Gougenot Des Mousseaux had related in _Le Juif_, that in December 1865
he had received a letter from a German statesman saying:

     Since the revolutionary recrudescence of 1848, I have had relations
     with a Jew who, from vanity, betrayed the secret of the secret
     societies with which he had been associated, and who warned me
     eight or ten days beforehand of all the revolutions which were
     about to break out at any point of Europe. I owe to him the
     unshakeable conviction that all these movements of "oppressed
     peoples," etc., etc., are devised by half a dozen individuals, who
     give their orders to the secret societies of all Europe. The ground
     is absolutely mined beneath our feet, and the Jews provide a large
     contingent of these miners....[871]

These words were written in the year after the _Dialogues aux Enfers_
were published.

It is further important to notice that Joly's work is dated from Geneva,
the meeting-place for all the revolutionaries of Europe, including
Bakunin, who was there in the same year, and where the first Congress of
the _Internationale_ led by Karl Marx was held two years later. Already
the revolutionary camp was divided into warring factions, and the
rivalry between Marx and Mazzini had been superseded by the struggle
between Marx and Bakunin. And all these men were members of secret
societies. It is by no means improbable then that Joly, himself a
revolutionary, should during his stay in Geneva have come into touch
with the members of some secret organization, who may have betrayed to
him their own secret or those of a rival organization they had reason
to suspect of working under the cover of revolutionary doctrines for an
ulterior end. Thus the protocols of a secret society modelled on the
lines of the Illuminati or the Haute Vente Romaine may have passed into
his hands and been utilized by him as an attack on Napoleon who, owing
to his known connexion with the Carbonari, might have appeared to Joly
as the chief exponent of the Machiavellian art of duping the people and
using them as the lever to power which the secret societies had reduced
to a system.

This would explain Maurice Joly's mysterious reference to the "political
system which has not varied for a single day in its application since
the disastrous and alas! too far-off date of its enthronement."
Moreover, it would explain the resemblance between all the parallels to
the Protocols from the writings of the Illuminati and Mirabeau's _Projet
de Revolution_ of 1789 onwards. For if the system had never varied, the
code on which it was founded must have remained substantially the same.
Further, if it had never varied up to the time when Joly wrote, why
should it have varied since that date? The rules of lawn tennis drawn up
in 1880 would probably bear a strong resemblance to those of 1920, and
would also probably follow each other in the same sequence. The
differences would occur where modern improvements had been added.

Might not the same process of evolution have taken place between the
dates at which the works of Joly and Nilus were published? I do not
agree with the opinion of the _Morning Post_ that "the author of the
Protocols must have had the _Dialogues_ of Joly before him." It is
possible, but not proven. Indeed, I find it difficult to imagine that
anyone embarking on such an elaborate imposture should not have
possessed the wit to avoid quoting passages verbatim--without even
troubling to arrange them in a different sequence--from a book which
might at any moment be produced as evidence against him. For contrary to
the assertions of the _Times_ the _Dialogues_ of Joly is by no means a
rare book, not only was it to be found at the British Museum but at the
London Library and recently I was able to buy a copy for the modest sum
of 15 francs. There was therefore every possibility of Nilus being
suddenly confronted with the source of his plagiarism. Further, is it
conceivable that a plagiarist so unskilful and so unimaginative would
have been capable of improving on the original? For the Protocols are a
vast improvement on the _Dialogues_ of Joly. The most striking passages
they contain are not to be found in the earlier work, nor, which is more
remarkable, are several of the amazing prophecies concerning the future
which time has realized. It is this latter fact which presents the most
insuperable obstacle to the _Times_ solution of the problem.

To sum up then, the Protocols are either a mere plagiarism of Maurice
Joly's work, in which case the prophetic passages added by Nilus or
another remain unexplained, or they are a revised edition of the plan
communicated to Joly in 1864, brought up to date and supplemented so as
to suit modern conditions by the continuers of the plot.

Whether in this case the authors of the Protocols were Jews or whether
the Jewish portions have been interpolated by the people into whose
hands they fell is another question. Here we must admit the absence of
any direct evidence. An International circle of world revolutionaries
working on the lines of the Illuminati, of which the existence has
already been indicated, offers a perfectly possible alternative to the
"Learned Elders of Zion." It would be easier, however to absolve the
Jews from all suspicion of complicity if they and their friends had
adopted a more straightforward course from the time the Protocols
appeared. When some years ago a work of the same kind was directed
against the Jesuits, containing what purported to be a "Secret Plan" of
revolution closely resembling the Protocols,[872] the Jesuits indulged
in no invectives, made no appeal that the book should be burnt by the
common hangman, resorted to no fantastic explanations, but quietly
pronounced the charge to be a fabrication. Thus the matter ended.

But from the moment the Protocols were published the Jews and their
friends had recourse to every tortuous method of defence, brought
pressure to bear on the publishers--succeeded, in fact, in temporarily
stopping the sales--appealed to the Home Secretary to order their
suppression, concocted one clinching refutation after another, all
mutually exclusive of each other, so that by the time the solution now
pronounced to be the correct one appeared, we had already been assured
half a dozen times that the Protocols had been completely and finally
refuted. And when at last a really plausible explanation had been
discovered, why was it not presented in a convincing manner? All that
was necessary was to state that the origin of the Protocols had been
found in the work of Maurice Joly, giving parallels in support of this
assertion. What need to envelop a good case in a web of obvious romance?
Why all this parade of confidential sources of information, the pretence
that Joly's book was so rare as to be almost unfindable when a search in
the libraries would have proved the contrary? Why these allusions to
Constantinople as the place "to find the key to dark secrets," to the
mysterious Mr. X. who does not wish his real name to be known, and to
the anonymous ex-officer of the Okhrana from whom by mere chance he
bought the very copy of the _Dialogues_ used for the fabrication of the
Protocols by the Okhrana itself, although this fact was unknown to the
officer in question? Why, further, should Mr. X., if he were a Russian
landowner, Orthodox by religion and a Constitutional Monarchist, be so
anxious to discredit his fellow Monarchists by making the outrageous
assertion that "the only occult Masonic organization such as the
Protocols speak of"--that is to say, a Machiavellian system of an
abominable kind--which he had been able to discover in Southern Russia
"was a Monarchist one"?

It is evident then that the complete story of the Protocols has not yet
been told, and that much yet remains to be discovered concerning this
mysterious affair.


Abdullah ibn Maymun, 37, 197

Abraham, Book of, 8

"Abraham the Jew," 85

"Absolutes," the, 265

Adam, Book of (see _Codex Nasaraeus_)

Adamites, the, 31

Additional Degrees, the 132-148

Akhnaton (see Ikh-naton)

Albigenses, the, 74-76

Alemanus (or Datylus), 85

_Aliance Sociale Democratique_, 268, 295

Alsace, Jews of, 247

Alta Vendita (or Haute Vente Romaine), 266

Altotas, 174, 200

Amaury, King of Jerusalem, 50

Amelie, Queen of Portugal, 283

_Amis Reunis_ (Loge des), 165, 170, 236

Ampthill, Lord, 287

Anabaptists, 180

Ancient Masonry, 304

Anderson's Constitutions, 129, 148

Anna of Courland, 165

Anthroposophical Society, 316

Antin, Duc d', 137 note, 145, 148, 155, 162

Antitacts, 31

Architecture, Gothic, 111

Aristobulos, 28

Athanasius, Kircher, 86

Ashkenazim, 247

Ashmole, Elias, 102, 122

Asiatic Brethren, 169

Assassins, the 44-48, 113

Ba'al Shems, 181, _et seq_.

Babeuf, 252

Bacon, Francis, 97, 119

Bacon, Roger, 143

Bakunin, Michel, 268, 384

Baldwin II, 49

Balsamo, Joseph (see Cagliostro)

Baphomet, 64, 72

Barbusse, H., 321

Baron, Andre, 188

Barruel, Abbe, vi, ix, 121, 147, 254, 382

Barthou, Monsieur, 203, 204

Bavaria, Duke of, 86

Bela Kun, 386

Belgium, Freemasonry in, 282

Belle-Isle, Marechal de, 173

Berage, Chevalier de, 139

Berckheim, Francois Charles de, 258, _et seq._

Besant, Mrs. Annie, 297, _et seq._

Bielfeld, Baron de, 152

Bismarck, Prince von, 356, 357, 366

Blanc, Louis, 268

Blavatsky, Madame, 298, _et seq._

Bode, Christian, 211, 233-234, 236, 255

Bogomils, 63, _et seq._

Bolshevism, 357, _et seq._, 384, _et seq._

Bordeaux Jews of, 246, 247

Bourbon, Duc de, 136, 13